Rich-- The two stories underlined are the day's top
FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF CHECHEN INVASION.
Council Chairman Vladimir Shumeiko marked the 11 December anniversary of the
military incursion into Chechnya by arguing that the invasion had been
undertaken in order to enable the Russian leadership to negotiate with Chechen
President Dzhokhar Dudaev "from a position of strength," according to Interfax.
Interior Minister Anatolii Kulikov claimed that Chechnya had become a hotbed of
criminal activity and therefore a threat to Russia, but he admitted that the
military intervention had been botched. Some 2,000 Dudaev supporters
demonstrated in Grozny on 11 December amid heightened security precautions to
protest the Russian-Chechen agreement signed on 8 December and the planned 17
December elections, Russian TV reported. They also demanded the withdrawal of
Russian troops from Chechnya. -- Liz Fuller
FEDERAL CASUALTIES IN CHECHNYA MOUNT.
More than 2,300 members of the
Russian federal armed forces have died in Chechnya since the military operation
began there one year ago, Interfax reported on 11 December. Citing the press
office of the Defense Ministry, the agency reported that nearly 1,930 of the
dead were army personnel, 360 were Interior Ministry troops, and 27 were border
troops. Slightly less than 5,500 servicemen were wounded. Russian forces are
still suffering daily casualties despite the truce in Chechnya. -- Doug
HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS CALL FOR CANCELING ELECTIONS IN CHECHNYA.
Kovalev's Memorial, the Moscow Helsinki Group, and the Moscow Center for Human
Rights Studies issued a joint statement on 11 December demanding that the 17
December elections in Chechnya be canceled, Interfax reported. The groups
warned that the elections will not be fair, because they will be held in a
"virtual state of emergency" and a large proportion of the republic's
population, including thousands of refugees, will not be able to vote. However,
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin told Radio Mayak on 10 December that the
elections would be a "step forward" toward peace and must be carried out
despite attempts at "intimidation." -- Laura Belin
LEBED IS THE MOST POPULAR GENERAL.
A recent poll of 1,360 urban
residents conducted by the Public Opinion foundation asked respondents which of
the generals running for the Duma they most trusted to protect their interests,
Interfax reported on 11 December. Congress of Russian Communities leader
Aleksandr Lebed was the most popular with 30%, followed by Boris Gromov (My
Fatherland) with 15%, Aleksandr Rutskoi (Derzhava) with 10%, and Lev Rokhlin
(Our Home Is Russia) with 5%. -- Peter Rutland
SOSKOVETS LOOKS FOR VOTES IN DEFENSE PLANTS.
First Deputy Prime Minister
Oleg Soskovets just completed a 20,000 km pre-election trip to defense industry
cities in Siberia, Russian TV reported on 11 December. Among the places he
visited was the Transmash company in Omsk, which in the past two years has not
sold a single one of the tanks it produces. The association had recently
started producing tractors, "but for some reason nobody bought those either."
Soskovets encouraged them to follow the example of their neighbor, the Polet
enterprise. It has started producing the AN 72 civil transport aircraft and is
negotiating with Mercedes to assemble buses. -- Peter Rutland
BASHKORTOSTAN INTRODUCES PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF SMALL LAND PLOTS.
last week Murtaza Rakhimov, Bashkortostan's president, signed a decree allowing
restricted ownership of small plots of land, the question of unrestricted trade
for landowners will be decided in the republican referendum on 17 December,
Russian media reported on 11 December. The 6 December presidential decree
grants citizens the right to own land for personal use, as well as the right to
sell, lease, and mortgage land plots, although owners are prohibited from using
individual plots of land for anything other than their original purpose.
According to opinion polls, less than 18% of voters favor unlimited private
land ownership and the number of people who support the free trade of land may
go down following Rakhimov's decree, Russian Public TV (ORT) reported. The
referendum will also ask whether or not the republic should seek greater
economic independence from the Russian Federation. -- Anna Paretskaya
RUSSIAN OFFICER PROTESTS RELOCATION OF PEACEKEEPING BRIGADE.
Andrei Demurenko, head of UN security forces in the Sarajevo sector, complained
that plans to move the Russian peacekeeping brigade further east, away from the
town of Brcko, may make their participation in the overall operation
"pointless" and "decorative," ITAR-TASS reported on 12 December. The colonel
said that it had been agreed with the Serbs that the 1,500 man Russian brigade
would police the area around Brcko in the crucial Posavina corridor, which
links the two halves of the Bosnian Serb entity. -- Peter Rutland and Michael
UN TRIBUNAL REJECTS RUSSIAN REQUEST.
The chief prosecutor for the UN
International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, Richard Goldstone, rejected a
Russian request to put genocide charges against Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan
Karadzic and Ratko Mladic on hold (see OMRI Daily Digest, 11 December
1995), Western agencies reported on 11 December. Goldstone told journalists
that the Russian ambassador in the Netherlands who made the request did not
provide acceptable reasons for putting the charges on hold. Goldstone added
that Russia's request could be connected to France's demand that the Bosnian
Serbs provide information on two French pilots downed three months ago. --
RUSSIA STARTS TO PAY OFF UN DEBTS.
Russia announced on 11 December that
it will contribute $284 million to the UN's peacekeeping budget, ITAR-TASS
reported on 12 December. That covers Russia's contribution for 1995 and
includes $54 million towards the payment of arrears. Already this year Russia
has paid off its remaining $63 million debt to the regular UN account. Russia's
total debts to the UN are $600 million, while the U.S. owes $1.5 billion. --
KOVALEV ON HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.
Human rights abuses in Russia are
"systematic and flagrant" in many areas, according to a report being prepared
by Sergei Kovalev, chairman of the presidential commission on human rights.
Kovalev told a meeting of activists on 10 December that the report will reveal
widespread and growing abuses and the systematic violation of the country's
constitution by officials, Interfax and Reuters reported. He said that "in many
cases citizens are detained, beaten, and humiliated by Interior Ministry bodies
without reason" and that "tortures and murders are also practiced." He argued
that Russian security bodies are returning to Soviet-style practices with
regard to official secrecy and surveillance, warning that "the lack of control
over the actions of the security organs is the path back to a totalitarian
regime." Following his harsh criticism of the Russian operation in Chechnya,
Kovalev's commission has been ignored by President Yeltsin but not formally
disbanded. -- Penny Morvant
SECURITY STEPPED UP PENDING ELECTIONS.
Law enforcement agencies are
taking additional security measures to prevent terrorist attacks as election
day approaches. On 11 December, police and Interior Ministry troops began extra
patrols in public places such as railway stations and bus stops, Interfax and
Ekho Moskvy reported. Police will guard all polling stations as of 16 December
and firefighters will inspect them before the voting begins. Special measures
are being taken in Chechnya. -- Penny Morvant
SYPHILIS AND AIDS SPREADING.
Some 200,000 cases of syphilis were
registered in Russia in the first 10 months of the year, according to Yevgenii
Belyaev, the chairman of the State Committee for the Prevention of Epidemics.
He said the figures were unprecedented in Russia and blamed the increase on the
easing of travel restrictions, the rise in immigration, and a "lapse in moral
standards," Interfax and Ekho Moskvy reported. On the subject of AIDS, he said
that there are now 1,033 registered HIV-carriers in the country and that more
and more cases are being diagnosed among high school and college students. AIDS
support groups believe that the official figures for HIV infection should be
multiplied by a factor of 10 to get a true picture of the situation in Russia.
-- Penny Morvant
OLD SOVIET SATELLITE FALLS TO EARTH.
A space satellite launched nearly
25 years ago re-entered the Earth's atmosphere south of Hawaii at 11 p.m.
Moscow time on 10 December and burned up, Interfax and Western agencies
reported on 11 December. Experts originally feared that the satellite would
scatter fragments weighing up to 200 kg across the ocean, but only a few small
pieces were reported to have hit the Earth's surface. Cosmos-398 was launched
on 21 February 1971 as part of a program to study the moon, and has been
designated as "space trash" since March of that year. According to Russian TV,
it is not powered by a nuclear reactor. -- Doug Clarke
RUSSIAN VENTURE IN EASTERN GERMANY FALLS FLAT.
Two years ago, the Moscow
firm Sokolniki, headed by industrial lobbyist Yurii Gekht, was given control
over a DM 1 billion pulp and paper factory in Pirno near Dresden for the
symbolic sum of one mark, NTV reported on 10 December. Gekht was supposed to
invest DM 270 million ($186 million) but only managed to come up with DM 15
million, and the factory has laid off all 800 of its former workers. Gekht
complained that his plans to raise money by exporting coal had been blocked in
Moscow. Meanwhile, the Russian company MES (International Economic Cooperation)
announced plans to set up joint ventures with three Hungarian agricultural
producers, Interfax reported on 11 December. MES plans to supply Moscow and St.
Petersburg with $200 million of food every year. -- Peter Rutland
Rich-- The two stories underlined are the day's top
TAJIK OPPOSITION WALKS OUT OF TALKS.
The United Tajik Opposition (UTO)
has announced that it will temporarily suspend its participation in the
inter-Tajik talks, Interfax reported on 11 December. Speaking in Ashgabat, Ali
Akbar Turajonzoda, a UTO representative, said the Tajik government's continued
military action in the Tavil-Dara region of Tajikistan has made it "impossible
to hold talks on political issues." A group of observers from the opposition
and the UN have arrived in Tajikistan to assess the situation but have been
unable to visit the conflict area because, according to the opposition,
government troops are still fighting. The government has countered that the
observers should be flown to Shuroabad in the south where border guards have
been attacked several times during the last two weeks by rebel groups crossing
from Afghanistan, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 7 December. The
opposition delegation will remain in Ashgabat to hold meetings with the UN
special envoy. -- Bruce Pannier
UZBEK-SOUTH KOREAN RELATIONS.
The charge d'affaires of Uzbekistan,
Vitalii Fen, is in Seoul, South Korea to open a diplomatic mission, according
to ITAR-TASS on 12 December. South Korea has said it will reciprocate by
opening a consulate in Tashkent a year from now. Some 220,000 Koreans live in
Uzbekistan. In the 1930s, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin forcibly moved thousands
of Koreans from the Far East to the Central Asian republic. -- Bruce Pannier
ARMENIA REJECTS TURKISH CFE REQUEST.
Armenia has rejected a Turkish
request to inspect Russian military units based in Armenia, Turkish Daily
News reported on 12 December. Turkey made the request in early December on
the basis of the monitoring provisions of the CFE treaty. Erevan had initially
granted Turkey permission to conduct observation flights above the units on 7
December, but then withdrew it without explanation two days later. The paper
pointed out that the Armenian rejection is in keeping with Russia's refusal to
comply with the CFE treaty in the Caucasus. -- Lowell Bezanis
GEORGIAN PARLIAMENT NAMES MINISTER OF STATE.
The Georgian parliament
appointed Niko Lekishvili, former mayor of Tbilisi, to the post of minister of
state, Georgian Radio reported on 8 December. His duties will include
coordinating the executive authorities and acting as a liaison with the
legislature and judiciary. According to ITAR-TASS, he is second in the state
hierarchy after the president, since the post of prime minister doesn't exist
under the new Georgian constitution. On the same day, Georgian President Eduard
Shevardnadze appointed Badri Shoshitaishvili, formerly premier of the Tbilisi
municipality, to the post of mayor. Shoshitaishvili was first secretary of a
raikom in one of the Tbilisi districts in the late 1980s. -- Irakli Tsereteli
Rich-- The two stories underlined are the day's top
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
UKRAINIANS ELECT SEVEN OF 45 VACANT PARLIAMENTARY SEATS.
voters elected seven deputies in by-elections for the 45 vacant seats in the
450-member legislature, including Ukrainian Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk,
Ukrainian and international agencies reported on 11 December. Marchuk won
nearly 84% of the vote in the rural Myrhorod district in Poltava Oblast. Also
elected as representatives from Crimea were recently ousted Crimean Premier
Anatolii Franchuk and his son, Ihor Franchuk. The success of all three new
lawmakers is viewed as a vindication of government policies. Central Election
Commission officials said runoffs will take place in two weeks in 11 districts
where no candidate gained 50% of the votes. New elections are scheduled in 27
districts where low voter turnout invalidated the vote. -- Chrystyna Lapychak
UPDATE ON BELARUSIAN ELECTIONS.
According to international agency
reports on 11 December, 198 seats in the 260-member legislature have now been
filled--more than enough for the new parliament to convene. There has been some
confusion over how many deputies were elected from each party. Most reports
maintain that independent candidates now have 96 or so seats and that the
communists and agrarians have the most seats. The Mass Media Center in Minsk
gave the following breakdown: Party of Communists of Belarus, 42 seats;
Agrarian Party, 33; the Party of Popular Accord, 8; the United Civic Party, 7;
the Social Democratic Hramada, 2; and the Party for All Belarusian Unity
and Accord, 2. No candidates from the nationalist opposition Belarusian Popular
Front were elected. -- Ustina Markus
UKRAINE RECEIVES BLACK SEA FLEET SHIPS, BASES, BUT FEW OFFICERS.
Ukrainian Navy's press service on 10 December reported that Ukraine's Naval
Commission began to receive garrisons and weapons of the ex-Soviet Black Sea
Fleet the previous day, Interfax reported. While it noted that "several
officers" asked for permission to continue their service in the Ukrainian Navy,
Russian sources told a different story. ITAR-TASS reported the same day that
only three out of 200 officers and 19 out of 300 warrant officers wanted to
stay with the Ukrainian fleet. It quoted a Ukrainian spokesman as saying that
what happened has been a "real shock" for the Ukrainians and that there is "no
one to serve on the ships and [naval] sites that have been turned over to us."
-- Doug Clarke
CRIME IN THE BALTIC STATES.
Visvaldas Rackauskas, a senior official at
the Lithuanian Interior Ministry, told a press conference on 11 December that
the 55,500 crimes reported in Lithuania in the first eleven months of 1995
represented a 6.3% increase over the same period in 1994, BNS reported, This
crime rate of 149.3 crimes per 10,000 population was lower than in Estonia
(242.6) but higher than in Latvia (140.8). The number of serious crimes or
felonies increased by 38.1%, but this was in part due to changes in the
criminal code to what was considered a felony. -- Saulius Girnius
LITHUANIA SUBMITS APPLICATION FOR EU MEMBERSHIP.
Minister Povilas Gylys, during his visit to Madrid on 11 December, submitted
Lithuania's application to join the EU to Spanish State Secretary for European
Affairs Carlos Westendorp, BNS reported. President Algirdas Brazauskas and
Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius signed the application on 8 December at the
urging of the Seimas. Gylys proposed that the EU begin negotiations on full
membership with all associate members simultaneously, shortly after the EU
intergovernmental conference early next year. -- Saulius Girnius
POLISH PRESIDENT-ELECT ON NEW APPOINTMENTS.
Aleksander Kwasniewski has
nominated former Defense Deputy Minister Danuta Waniek, who is also leader of
the Parliamentary Women's Group, as the head of his chancellory. Prime Minister
Jozef Oleksy, after meeting with Kwasniewski on 11 December, said that they
would like to staff the ministries of defense, foreign, and internal affairs
with people from outside the ruling coalition, Polish dailies reported on 12
December. -- Jakub Karpinski
POLAND TO START NEGOTIATIONS WITH EU IN 1998.
Gazeta Wyborcza on
12 December reported that negotiations on Poland's EU membership will not start
until 1998, six months after the Maastricht II conference. The Polish cabinet
has begun talks with the EU about changes that must be made to become a member.
Rzeczpospolita quotes Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy as saying that the
Polish energy sector and agriculture will require a longer period to make
necessary changes. But postponing the liberalization of the Polish fuel market
will slow down foreign investment in this sector, representatives of
international oil companies maintain. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz
SLOVAK PARLIAMENT REJECTS DELAY ON HUNGARIAN TREATY.
By a vote of 62 to
18, the parliament on 11 December rejected a motion calling for the
ratification of the Slovak-Hungarian treaty to be postponed. The proposal was
made by Bartolomej Kunc of the Slovak National Party and was supported by
deputies from all three coalition parties. Proposals were also rejected to
include opposition deputies in OKO, the parliamentary organ supervising the
Slovak Information Service (SIS), and to discuss SIS involvement in the
abduction of President Michal Kovac's son. In connection with the conflict of
interests law, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia deputy and Slovak Radio
director Jan Tuzinsky gave up his parliamentary seat and was replaced by Jozef
Henker, Slovak media reported. -- Sharon Fisher
EU OFFERS FUNDS TO SLOVAKIA.
Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk and EU
Ambassador to Slovakia Georgios Zavvos on 11 December signed agreements on EU
financial assistance to Slovakia totaling at least 200 million ECU over the
next five years, Slovak media reported. The 1995 allocation, totaling 42
million ECU, will be used for private sector development, infrastructure,
support of EU integration, development of human resources, and the Tempus
program. -- Sharon Fisher
HUNGARY'S OPPOSITION IS AGAINST ENERGY PRIVATIZATION.
caucus has turned to the Constitutional Court to protest the privatization of
the energy sector, which it calls a "crime against the nation". It says it is
concerned that the foreign buyers will save money by modernizing the sector
with 1950s technology and simply collect the guaranteed 8% profit from the
state, Vilaggazdasag reported. Like the Smallholders, other groups fear
that the privatization of these strategic industries will not serve the
long-term interest of the Hungarian economy, since majority foreign ownership
will have a negative effect on the country's trade balance and GDP growth.
Meanwhile, some local governments in the northeastern part of the country, as
well as the Pest County authorities, have complained about the privatization of
the gas distribution company Tigaz, whose majority shares were sold to Italy's
Italgas. They claim that nobody asked them whether they wanted to sell their
holdings. -- Zsofia Szilagyi
NO AGREEMENT IN HUNGARIAN-SLOVAK TALKS ON LANGUAGE LAW.
Minister Juraj Schenk, following talks in Budapest with his Hungarian
counterpart Laszlo Kovacs, told a press conference in Bratislava on 11 December
that since his country's language law neither threatens nor affects human and
minority rights, it cannot be an issue of bilateral dispute, Hungarian media
reported. Schenk had asked the Hungarian government to moderate its critical
attitude toward the language law, because, he said, it may adversely affect the
ratification of the basic treaty. Kovacs stressed that the Hungarian government
will appeal to international institutions and pressure the Slovaks to implement
European norms in the pending law on minority languages. -- Zsofia
Rich-- The two stories underlined are the day's top
BOSNIAN SERBS TO RELEASE FRENCH PILOTS.
Two downed French
pilots are to be freed by their Bosnian Serb captors on 12 December,
international media reported the same day. Reuters, citing "Serbian security
sources," said the pilots were slated to cross the River Drina and into Serbia
sometime between 10:00 and 10:30 CET on 12 December. Their freeing is expected
to eliminate the last potential barrier to the 14 December signing of a peace
treaty in Paris ending over three years of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It seems
that officials in Serbia brought decisive pressure to bear on the Bosnian
Serbs. Rump Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic on 11 December hinted to
a visiting NATO delegation that the Bosnian Serbs would soon issue "positive"
news about the pilots. -- Stan Markotich
BOSNIAN SERBS CARTING OFF FACTORIES FROM SARAJEVO TO SERBIA.
authorities on 12 December are to hold a referendum on the Dayton agreement
among the Serbs of Sarajevo under their control. U.S. and other officials have
called the treaty a done deal and refuse to recognize the ballot. RFE/RL said
on 11 December that some Bosnian Serbs have already begun fleeing the suburbs
slated to pass to government rule. The broadcast added that the Pale
authorities are allowing the people to leave for Serbia but strictly
controlling how much of their property they can take along. The Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung the next day wrote that the Bosnian Serb authorities
have begun carrying off industrial units and other equipment to Serbia. The
International Herald Tribune reported on a multiethnic demonstration in
government-held parts of Sarajevo to urge the suburban Serbs to stay. --
GOLDSTONE REFUSES TO GRANT KARADZIC A REPRIEVE.
AFP on 11 December
reported that Justice Richard Goldstone of the Hague-based International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia immediately turned down a Russian
request to "suspend legal action" against the top indicted Bosnian Serb war
criminals. The Russians apparently wanted a reprieve for Radovan Karadzic and
General Ratko Mladic to enable at least Karadzic to attend the Paris meeting on
14 December. The Pale authorities called over the weekend for Karadzic to
represent them in Paris, but Karadzic's presence would be odd--to say the
least--because the treaty to be signed there bans war criminals from public
office. Meanwhile in Zadar, a Croatian military court sentenced 16 Krajina
Serbs to prison terms for war crimes. The only accused who was actually present
was given ten years. -- Patrick Moore
ARE THE CROATS HIDING SOMETHING IN MRKONJIC GRAD?
Bosnian Croat forces
blocked the movement of five British armored personnel carriers in central
Bosnia on 10 December, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported two
days later. They had previously pledged to allow the British to pass. Croatian
police also escorted journalists out of the city, which was taken by Croatian
forces in the wake of Operation Storm but which goes back to the Serbs under
the terms of the Dayton agreement. The UN and others have charged the Croats
with conducting a "scorched earth" policy in the area. In this latest incident,
reporters counted four burning houses before they were forced to leave. --
CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON DAYTON ACCORD.
Mate Granic told a joint
session of the parliament on 11 December that with the signing of the Dayton
agreement, the biggest achievement for Croatia was the affirmation of its
territorial integrity, Novi List reported the next day. Granic explained
that if Croatia had refused to sign, sanctions would have been imposed because
of its military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He also revealed that Croatian
troops had been within two or three days of taking the Bosnian Serb stronghold
of Banja Luka but had held back because of international concern over a new
flood of refugees. In other news, Granic's first aide said that at the London
conference, the Croatian delegation had forced a debate on eastern Slavonia,
although the agenda did not include it. The delegates had insisted that no
solution for Bosnia could be found without a settlement in eastern Slavonia,
the BBC reported on 12 December. -- Daria Sito Sucic
RUMP YUGOSLAVIA, BULGARIA TO RESUME TRADE RELATIONS.
The Bulgarian daily
Duma on 12 December reported that a visit to Belgrade by a Bulgarian
trade delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Kiril
Tsochev, will result in the restoration of "normal trade" between the two
Balkan states. During his visit, Tsochev signed a protocol with Belgrade
authorities on restoring trade and economic relations. Tsochev and his team met
with Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Jovan Zebic. Zebic
greeted his guests by thanking Bulgaria for its "objective approach" to
relations with Belgrade during the wars throughout the former Yugoslavia. --
KOSOVAR SHADOW STATE TO OPEN OFFICE IN WASHINGTON.
The Kosovar shadow
state government announced it will open an information office in Washington,
Reuters reported on 11 December. The State Department welcomed the decision but
said it would not constitute a diplomatic mission. The Kosovar shadow state so
far has offices in Bonn, Brussels, Geneva, London, and Tirana. Meanwhile the UN
human rights committee approved a resolution, to be voted on by the General
Assembly next week, condemning human rights violations in Kosovo. -- Fabian
ROMANIAN COALITION MEMBER TO LEAVE ALLIANCE?
Chairman of the Socialist
Labor Party (PSM) Ilie Verdet has said that the protocol signed in January with
the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) was "null and void" because it
"never functioned." Radio Bucharest and Libertatea quote him as saying
that the PSM "never participated in the government" since it only backed the
PDSR politically. He added that the PSM might back a no-confidence motion in
the government, regardless of what side of the political spectrum the motion
comes from. Since the alliance between the PSDR and the Greater Romania Party
(PRM) disintegrated, the PSM has said several times that its alliance with the
main coalition partner has ceased to function. But Adrian Nastase, executive
chairman of the PSDR, said this did not stop the PSM from continuing to demand
positions for its members in local government. -- Michael Shafir
ROMANIA, GERMANY TO COOPERATE IN COMBATING INTERNATIONAL CRIME.
Minister of Interior Doru Ioan Taracila and his German counterpart, Manfred
Kanther, have signed a cooperation agreement on combating organized
international crime, Romanian media reported on 9 December. The document,
initialized in Bonn during Taracila's visit to Germany, provides for
cooperation between the two police forces in capturing Romanian criminals in
Germany, who have been making the headlines in the German press over the last
few weeks (see OMRI Daily Digest, 7 December 1995). -- Matyas Szabo
MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT TO RUN AGAIN.
Mircea Snegur told an 8 December press
conference marking the fourth anniversary of his election that he will run for
another term if the Party of Revival and Conciliation of Moldova asks him to,
BASA-press and Infotag reported. But he added that it was "premature" to
announce his candidacy now. Snegur expressed dissatisfaction with economic
cooperation within the CIS, adding that Moldova will never abide by CIS
political-military agreements. On the pace of reform, Snegur said that the
country was "lagging behind the opportunities offered by history." In an
allusion to the government of Andrei Sangheli, he said that unlike those who
opt for "discrediting opponents" instead of "giving an honest account of their
performance," he had "nothing to hide." -- Michael Shafir
MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES TRANSDNIESTER'S LEGAL STATUS.
parliament has discussed the draft on the legal status of the Transdniester
region, Infotag and BASA-press reported on 8 December. The draft envisages
guaranteeing divisions of political power between Chisinau and Tiraspol as well
as preserving the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious traditions of the
Transdniester population. Tiraspol, however, recently proposed that the
Transdniester and Moldova build their relations as two independent states, each
with its own constitution. It also envisages establishing collaboration "on a
contractual basis" between the two states' armed forces, interior ministries,
and banks and other financial establishments. -- Michael Shafir
CHANGES IN BULGARIAN CABINET IMMINENT?
Following a meeting of the
Executive Bureau of the governing Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the major
Bulgarian dailies on 12 December are speculating about possible changes in the
government lineup. According to those reports, Justice Minister Mladen
Chervenyakov and Interior Minister Lyubomir Nachev may be replaced after the
next plenary meeting of the BSP Supreme Council, scheduled for January 1996.
Standart reports that there is widespread dissatisfaction within the
party with the way the judicial system in functioning. Kontinent and
24 chasa cite leading party officials as saying that both Chervenyakov
and Nachev are not doing enough to fight growing crime. -- Stefan Krause
BULGARIA SAYS MACEDONIA STIRS UP ANTI-BULGARIAN FEELINGS.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Hristov on 8 December accused the Macedonian
authorities of using the 3 October attempt on the life of Macedonian President
Kiro Gligorov as a pretext to stir up anti-Bulgarian feelings in Macedonia.
Reuters cited Hristov as saying that "impermissible forms of pressure" were
being exerted on "people who consider themselves to be Bulgarian." He added
that some people were detained for days without charges being brought against
them. Macedonian police on 9 December continued their raids of Skopje suburbs
in connection with the assassination attempt, Vecher reported on 11
December. -- Stefan Krause
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave