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Newsline - February 27, 1996

Tatyana Samolis, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), accused the FBI of using "dirty tricks" to capture accused Soviet agent Robert Lipka, Russian and Western agencies reported. Samolis criticized the FBI for "recruiting under a foreign flag" by having its agents impersonate Russians during their investigation of Lipka. She said such practices violate unwritten "rules of honor" governing the post-Cold War "partnership" between Russian and U.S. intelligence services. Meanwhile, SVR spokesman Maj. Gen. Yurii Kobaladze warned that former Russian intelligence agents can be prosecuted for revealing state secrets if they publish memoirs that do not receive prior clearance. The FBI has suggested that former KGB Maj.-Gen Oleg Kalugin's memoirs helped them catch Lipka (see OMRI Daily Digest, 26 February 1996). -- Scott Parrish

Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov continues to attract support from movements on the "patriotic" or nationalist wing of the political spectrum (see OMRI Daily Digest, 12 February 1996). He was most recently endorsed by Stanislav Terekhov's Union of Officers and Sergei Baburin's Russian Public Union, Radio Rossii reported on 26 February. Before the disappointing performance of the Congress of Russian Communities (KRO) in the Duma elections, Aleksandr Lebed was considered the most likely consensus candidate of Russia's patriotic movements. Lebed officially announced his candidacy in January, but he has drawn few endorsements beyond KRO activists. -- Laura Belin

Although the leaders of 10 pro-reform movements, including Russia's Democratic Choice leader Yegor Gaidar, Yabloko leader Grigorii Yavlinskii and Forward, Russia! leader Boris Fedorov, signed a statement on 23 February opposing the "threat of a new totalitarianism in Russia," Russia's "democratic camp" has yet to agree on a common presidential candidate. Gaidar said his party will endorse either President Boris Yeltsin or Yavlinskii, depending on whether Yeltsin is able to end the war in Chechnya, Russian media reported on 26 February. For his part, Yavlinskii told Komsomolskaya pravda in an interview published on 27 February that a candidate backed by all "noncommunist" forces in Russia could win 23% of the vote in the first round of presidential elections and would have a good chance against Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov in the second round. -- Robert Orttung and Laura Belin

In accordance with an agreement between Ingush President Ruslan Aushev and 58th Army Commander Nikolai Troshev, federal military units have been entirely withdrawn from the territory of Ingushetiya, Russian media reported on 26 February. Army units and Interior Ministry troops entered the republic on 21 February, sealing off two villages near the Ingush-Chechen border and killing seven civilians (see OMRI Daily Digest, 26 February 1996). Although the army commanders claim that the units were simply passing through Ingu-shetiya en route to Chechnya, the Ingush authorities intend to ask the Russian Constitutional Court and Procurator General's Office to investigate the incident, Ekho Moskvy and NTV reported. -- Anna Paretskaya

A series of regional elections in Russia on 25 February were almost completely swept by the incumbent heads of the local administrations. The current mayor of Kemerovo, five out of the six incumbent heads of local administrations in Stavropol Krai, and a majority of the current heads of the Yaroslavl Oblast local executive were re-elected, Russian media reported. All of Russia's local administration heads were appointed by President Boris Yeltsin in 1991, except for those in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Elections also took place in the Vologda and Yaroslavl regional and city legislative bodies, the Kemerovo City Duma, and the local self-government bodies of several towns in Krasnodar and Stavropol krais. In most places, the Communist candidates received less votes than they had expected. One of the exceptions was in Kemerovo, where the Communist-oriented Narodovlastie movement headed by Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleev won a majority in the city legislature. -- Anna Paretskaya

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin expressed "regret" on 26 February over an incident in which a Cuban MiG-29 shot down two U.S. civilian planes but withheld judgment on the Cuban action pending further investigation, Russian and Western agencies reported. The U.S. has strongly denounced the Cuban action, imposed retaliatory sanctions, and requested that the UN Security Council condemn Cuba. Cuba claimed that the planes, piloted by Cuban exiles, had entered Cuban airspace. Karasin called on the U.S. to prevent further violations of Cuban airspace, which he described as a "provocative factor." Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, meanwhile, sent Cuban leader Fidel Castro a message praising the action, which he called "a victory over the American carrion crows." -- Scott Parrish

On 26 February, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel rejected calls by opposition Social Democratic leader Oskar Lafontaine for restrictions on the immigration of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Western agencies reported. Kinkel said German policy is focused on improving the living conditions of ethnic Germans in the region but insisted that continued immigration is justified because they often face discrimination. He accused Lafontaine of pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment before three state elections scheduled for next month. Under current German law, ethnic Germans are eligible for citizenship, regardless of their place of birth. According to German officials, up to 4 million ethnic Germans lived in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. Around 2 million have emigrated to Germany since 1989. Last year, 218,000 arrived in Germany, compared with 223,000 in 1994. -- Scott Parrish

mmercial plant to dispose of liquid radioactive waste (LRW) has been assembled in the Far East and is scheduled to go into operation in the next two days, ITAR-TASS reported on 26 February. Russian- designed, the plant is said to surpass all known LRW technologies. One of its developers, Academician Valentin Sergiyenko, told the agency that the LRW disposal problem in the Far East is now "practically solved." The plant relies on a sorption purification method rather than the conventional evaporation method. Sergiyenko said it could purify 100 liters of waste per hour and within a year should purify some 1,500 metric tons of waste, meeting the requirements of the Pacific Fleet. A smaller pilot-plant has been in operation for about 18 months. -- Doug Clarke

Seven people, including two firefighters, were injured in a fire at a tire plant in southeastern Moscow on 25-26 February, Russian and Western agencies reported. Another firefighter is missing and believed dead. Komsomolskaya pravda described the blaze as the biggest in the Russian capital since the fire at the Hotel Rossiya in 1977. On 21 February, Gosgortekhnadzor, the agency responsible for monitoring safety at mines and industrial plants, said 609 people, including 221 coal miners, died in industrial accidents in 1995. According to the Labor Ministry, about 300,000 people suffered as a result of workplace accidents in Russia in 1995. The ministry said 124 enterprises were shut down last year following state inspections, ITAR-TASS reported. -- Penny Morvant

The government has released details of the commitment it made to the IMF to remove export duties on oil, ITAR-TASS reported on 26 February. From 1 April export duty will be cut from 20 to 10 ECU per metric ton, and abolished from 1 July, causing an 8 trillion ruble ($1.7 billion) loss to the budget. To compensate, excise duty (paid on all oil sales, including those inside Russia) will be raised from the current 39,000 rubles ($8) per metric ton to 55,000 on 1 April and 70,000 on 1 July. Minster of Fuel and Energy Yurii Shafranik told a press conference that he opposes these measures, fearing that they will harm energy consumers. He also complained that he was not allowed to meet with the IMF delegation last week. In an interview with ITAR-TASS, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin himself said that he is "not an advocate of foreign loans, which must be repaid with interest." -- Peter Rutland

For the first time, foreigners have been allowed to buy GKOs. In auctions on 7 and 21 February, non-residents bought $420 million of bonds, 35% of those on offer, Kommersant Daily reported on 24 February. On 26 February, foreigners bought 1.9 trillion of the 10 trillion rubles ($2.1 billion) sold. However, the Central Bank has now changed the rules, since it realized that foreign buyers could make an annual return of 50-60%. Foreigners must now buy the bonds through a subsidiary of the Paris-based Eurobank, using a special exchange rate, which will limit their return to a maximum of 25%. -- Peter Rutland

The Russian government has announced that it will halt U.S. poultry imports after 16 March, unless U.S. exporters prove that their products are disease- and additive-free, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 February. After an inspection of U.S. processing plants in January, Russian specialists claimed that U.S. poultry is contaminated with dangerous residues and salmonella. U.S. officials protested the Russian declaration. In 1995, Russia spent $13.3 billion on food imports, which accounted for more than 40% of the food supply. U.S. poultry exports to Russia rocketed from $79 million to $500 million in just three years, making Russia the largest export market for poultry in 1995. -- Natalia Gurushina

Ali Ansukh-skii, an ethnic Avar from Azerbaijan's Belokany Raion, died in hospital in Baku on 26 February shortly after being shot three times in the street by an unknown assailant, Turan reported. A prominent businessman, Ansukhskii was elected to parliament in 1990 and 1995 as an independent deputy. Meanwhile, in Armenia parliamentary deputy Boris Mkhitaryan was shot in the head on 21 February while traveling to attend a funeral in Vanadzor, according to Noyan Tapan. -- Liz Fuller

Peacekeepers in Tskhinvali, capital of the Georgian autonomous formation of South Ossetiya, have been placed on alert following demonstrations calling for the resignation of the regional government, Iprinda reported on 26 February. The leadership of South Ossetiya aspires to unification with North Ossetiya in the Russian Federation. An emergency session of South Ossetiya's State Council ruled that its chairman, Ludwig Chibirov, should continue to occupy that post "temporarily," but relieved Deputy Chairman Atsamaz Kibisov of his post for embezzling funds allocated to the region's budget by Russia. Demonstrations began earlier this month to protest the alleged misappropriation of humanitarian aid by members of the regional government. -- Liz Fuller

In an eleventh hour move, the Tajik government and opposition have agreed to a three-month extension of the ceasefire agreement that expired on 26 February, Western agencies reported. The opposition is reportedly ready to compromise on the issue of prisoner exchanges, one of their preconditions for an extension, but it will not drop the demand that all forces in Tajikistan remain in their present positions. Observers had feared that the 24 February kidnapping of an opposition representative to the UN mission in Dushanbe, Zafar Rakhmonov, would derail negotiations. Authorities have been unable to find Rakhmonov or his captors. -- Bruce Pannier

Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev accepted the resignation of the government on 26 February, Reuters reported. However, the present government will remain at work in a caretaker role until a new government has been selected. The move follows the 10 February referendum in which citizens voted to accept amendments to the Kyrgyz constitution that concentrate more power in the hands of the president. Under the amendments, Akayev no longer needs parliamentary approval for cabinet appointments, except for the post of prime minister. In the case of the latter post, the revisions give the president the authority to dissolve parliament if it rejects his candidate for prime minister three times. Akayev has already mentioned he intends to keep Apas Jumagulov as prime minister. -- Bruce Pannier

Kazakhstani Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Alibek Kasymov and U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry signed a "Joint Statement of Future U.S.-Kazakhstani Defense and Military Relations" during Kasymov's current visit to the U.S.. Perry told a 26 February Pentagon press conference that the agreement called for regular meetings between senior military officers of the two countries and a schedule of military contacts, including an exchange program between the Arizona National Guard and the Kazakhstani Armed Forces. -- Doug Clarke

A Russian parliamentary delegation led by State Duma speaker Gennadii Seleznyov arrived in Kiev on 26 February for a two-day visit, international agencies reported. The delegation included head of the Russian Communist Party Gennadii Zyuganov, who assured Kiev that it did not have to fear any sudden shifts in Russia's policy toward Ukraine if he is elected Russian president in the summer. The delegation met with Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz but not with President Leonid Kuchma. Discussions focused on the treaty of friendship and cooperation between Russia and Ukraine, a draft of which is almost ready, and the settlement of the Black Sea Fleet dispute. A small group of Ukrainian nationalist demonstrated against Zyuganov at Kiev airport. -- Ustina Markus

Alyaksandr Lukashenka arrived in Moscow on 27 February on the first leg of a four-day official visit to Russia, international agencies reported. The purpose of his visit is to increase economic ties with Russia. Lukashenka met with his Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin, to discuss mutual debts. Belarus owes Russia almost $800 million for energy supplies and another $470 million for outstanding loans. At the same time, Minsk says Moscow owes it $800 million in compensation for ecological damage caused by strategic missiles based in Belarus and $114 million for stationing Russian troops on its territory. Agreements on trade and economic relations have been drawn up for signing. -- Ustina Markus

The Belarusian parliament has passed a resolution lowering the required number of deputies to legitimize local councils, Belarusian TV reported on 24 February. Despite several rounds of elections, voters have failed to elect enough deputies to allow the local councils to convene. The parliamentary resolution lowers the minimum number from two-thirds to half of the total deputies. -- Ustina Markus

The Farmers' Assembly on 26 February decided to withdraw its two parliamentary deputies, Eldur Parder and Ulo Peets, from the ruling KMU/Reform Party coalition after elections to the parliament's leadership on 14 March, ETA and BNS reported. The decision was prompted by the coalition's failing to take into account farmers' interests during the second reading of amendments to legislation on land reform. Since parliamentary regulations do not allow Parder and Peets to join other factions, they will stay on as independent deputies. Their departure will not affect the coalition's parliamentary majority, which will drop to 59 out of 100 deputies. -- Saulius Girnius

Gen. Andrei Nikolaev, head of the Russian Federal Border Service, and his Latvian counterpart, Leonid Lasmanis, signed an agreement on 26 February in St. Petersburg, Western agencies reported. The agreement, which is similar to those Russia had previously signed with Estonia and Finland, provides for cooperation in controlling their joint border to prevent smuggling and illegal immigration. The border services are to exchange information and launch joint investigations. -- Saulius Girnius

The Litimpeks Bank on 26 February resumed settlement operations in litai following a two-month suspension, BNS reported. The Bank of Lithuania allowed the resumption of activities on the basis of the so-called zero variant. Funds in Litimpeks accounts continue to be frozen, but the bank is renewing agreements with its clients and carrying out money transactions. Former bank chairman Gintautas Preidys said he thought that about 70% of the clients would return to the bank. Settlement operations in hard currencies are likely to be resumed after 1 March. Preidys anticipates that the bank will be allowed to accept deposits and offer loans beginning 1 July. -- Saulius Girnius

The Political Advisory Committee at the Ministry of Internal Affairs on 26 February rejected Gen. Gromoslaw Czempinski's resignation in January as chief of the Polish State Security Office. Czempinski said he was resigning because of his inability to stop classified information leaking to the press, particularly on espionage allegations against former Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy. The committee's decision is binding neither on the internal affairs minister, who must submit a motion to accept the resignation, nor on the prime minister, who must sign it. Polish dailies on 27 February reported unofficial sources as saying Internal Affairs Minister Zbigniew Siemiatkowski supports Czempinski's resignation. -- Jakub Karpinski
Jan Ruml will propose to the government "in the next few days" that the Party of Czechoslovak Communists (SCK) be outlawed for promoting the return to a communist regime, Czech media reported on 27 February. The small SCK, headed by former leading communist functionary Miroslav Stepan, is regarded as Stalinist and shunned by even the official Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia. Ruml said the SCK at a recent congress advocated a return to the policies of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which was in power from 1948 to 1989. Such activities violate legislation declaring the communist regime to have been illegal and criminal and making promotion of its principles a crime. -- Steve Kettle

State Secretary Pavol Kacic, head of a government commission investigating the VSZ explosion in October, which killed 11 people, confirmed on 26 February that none of the firm's high-level managers will be held responsible, Novy Cas reported. The commission, which is charged with investigating both the reasons for the explosion and those responsible for the deaths, is expected to present its report in late March. Kacic said that neither his commission nor the police has found anyone who can be given direct responsibility for the deaths. Only two regular employees have been charged so far. -- Sharon Fisher

Gyula Horn on 26 February announced he is nominating Peter Medgyessy to replace departing Finance Minister Lajos Bokros, Hungarian dailies reported. The Socialist Party presidium and the junior coalition partner, the Alliance of Free Democrats, have both supported Medgyessy's nomination. Horn said previously that Medgyessy has laid down no conditions for accepting the nomination, except that the cabinet's economic committee be given greater decision-making powers. Opposition Democratic Forum leader Ivan Szabo said he respects Medgyessy's professional skills, but both he and other opposition parties criticized Horn for choosing someone from the Socialist elite of the 1980s. Medgyessy was finance minister in 1987 and served as deputy prime minister in charge of economic policy until 1990. The Budapest Stock Exchange Index rose by 122 points, mostly due to interest among foreign investors who felt reassured by Medgyessy's nomination, Vilaggazdasag reported. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana confirmed in a letter to the UN on 26 February that the Bosnian Serbs have withdrawn from "the zones of separation" delimiting the Bosnian entities under the Dayton peace accords, international media reported. The sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs were supposed to be lifted one day after the IFOR commander confirmed compliance by the Bosnian factions. Two previous letters by Solana, dated 23 January and 6 February, were returned for clarification. This time, however, the UN Security Council is expected to lift the sanctions. Russia lifted sanctions unilaterally on 23 February, which the United States called "premature." Meanwhile, NATO has decided to postpone until mid-April talks about the withdrawal of IFOR troops after their one-year mandate expires. -- Michael Mihalka

Serbs are continuing to pillage their Sarajevo suburbs as they leave. UNHCR spokesman Kris Jankowski told Reuters on 26 February that reports were coming in daily of, among other things, thefts of furniture from the municipal office building and the movie theater in Ilijas. He added that "Serb police were there but did nothing to stop the theft. We're going to share our concerns with NATO." The population in Ilijas has shrunk recently from about 17,000 to 2,000 as the Serbs flee with the help of the Bosnian Serb army. When federal police arrive on 29 February, Muslims and Croats who were "ethnically cleansed" in previous years are expected to return. Nasa Borba said on 27 February that federal authorities arrived in a series of suburbs the previous day only to find them deserted. AFP reported that Sarajevo Serbs are being sent to the strategic Brcko area, the future of which is to be decided by international arbitration. Bosnian Presidency member Ivo Komsic called the Serbian tactics a form of "ethnic cleansing," Onasa noted on 26 February. -- Patrick Moore

EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels on 26 February, discussed future cooperation with the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Nasa Borba reported. Such cooperation, they said, will be conditional on the free movement of people, goods, and services. The ministers said they were "sorry to hear of EU Mostar administrator Hans Kosch-nick's resignation," but they agreed to the extension of his mandate until a replacement is found. They also said that economic support for Bosnia, Croatia, and the rump Yugoslavia will be conditional on their cooperation with The Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. -- Daria Sito Sucic

Prime ministers Zlatko Matesa of Croatia and Hasan Muratovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, meeting in Split on 26 February, signed agreements on air traffic, investments and legal assistance in civil and criminal proceedings, Vecernji list reported. Reuters reported Croatian radio as saying that Bosnian citizens will no longer need visas to enter Croatia beginning in March. The two sides agreed to decide on the status of the Croatian port of Ploce, which the Bosnians consider vital to the development of their economy, within two weeks. Repatriation of refugees and the status of Mostar remain unresolved issues. The same day, a police unit made up of Croatian, Bosnian, and West European officers began guarding EU headquarters in Mostar, Hina reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

Serbian minister for Municipal Planning Branislav Ivkovic, speaking in Subotica on the weekend, said it is the aim of Serbian and rump Yugoslav authorities that refugees currently in the rump Yugoslavia return home. TV Serbia on 24 February quoted the minister as saying he expected the international community to provide guarantees for the safe return of the refugees. The minister added, however, that the government has developed a program for those who decide to stay in Serbia whereby all municipalities are to volunteer information on housing availability, abandoned dwellings, and uninhabited areas. The minister criticized local authorities in Subotica for allegedly refusing to comply with his requests. -- Stan Markotich

Novi list reported on 27 February that the railway workers' strike committee held a press conference the previous day. Its chairman, Zlatko Pavletic, said that the workers were dropping their demand for a 100% pay hike and asking for only 60% instead. He also called for direct talks with President Franjo Tudjman, whom he said had been misinformed about the strike, which began on 22 February. Meanwhile, pro-government newspapers on 26 and 27 February praised the governing Croatian Democratic Com-munity's recent congress as "a blueprint for the next century." Novi list quoted opposition parties, however, as calling it "a typical party plenum from the 1950s." -- Patrick Moore

A motion accusing Nicolae Vacaroiu's left-wing government of failing to prevent a crisis in the energy sector provoked heated debates in the parliament on 26 February, Romanian media reported. The motion was put forward by the Democratic Convention of Romania, which said that the cabinet "has shown an irresponsible lack of interest in securing stocks of fuel for the energy sector." Vacaroiu, who attended the separate sessions of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, defended his government's policy. While failing to gather the required number of votes in the Senate, the motion passed in the Chamber of Deputies thanks to support from the government's former nationalist and neo-communist allies. -- Dan Ionescu

Deputy Parliamentary Chairman Dumitru Diacov has proposed establishing a left-wing coalition centered on the ruling Agrarian Democratic Party of Moldova (PDAM) to nominate a joint presidential candidate, Moldovan agencies reported on 26 February. Meanwhile, Vladimir Voronin of the Communist Party of Moldova and Valentin Krylov of the Socialist Unity told BASA-press that their parties' goal is to set up a bloc of "patriotic popular forces," which, they said, would be composed of leftist-centrist parties. Anatol Taran, chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Moldova (PSDM), did not rule out the possibility of a PSDM-PDAM coalition, although he said "the PDAM is not a left-wing party, since it does not defend working people's rights." -- Matyas Szabo

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski has invited his counterparts from all Balkan countries to attend a forum in Sofia later this year, Pari reported on 27 February. The aim of the meeting is to revive the process of Balkan cooperation, which was interrupted by the wars in the former Yugoslavia. The ministers will discuss confidence-building measures, the implementation of the Dayton accords, economic cooperation, and joint infrastructure projects. Foreign Ministry spokesman Panteley Kara-simeonov said the meeting is expected to be held by the end of June. -- Stefan Krause

Captain Hristo Savov, a police officer in Sofia involved in fighting organized crime, on 26 February was arrested on charges of racketeering and extortion, Kontinent reported. Savov had offered to "protect" a businessman who had received life threats. The businessman turned to the police after Savov asked for $17,000 or the man's flat in return for protection over one year. Six months ago, the head of the Varna police department fighting organized crime was arrested on similar charges. -- Stefan Krause

Albanian police have arrested three communist-era secret service (Sigu-rimi) agents in connection with the explosion near a supermarket in central Tirana, Gazeta Shqiptare reported. The explosion, which killed five people and injured 25, took place on 26 February. The three are suspected of having links with the Serbian secret service. The arrests took place only a couple of hours after President Berisha visited the site and blamed Sigurimi agents for the blast. The government has issued a reward of 5 million lek ($50,000) for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrators. -- Fabian Schmidt

The same day, police interrogated 33 employees of Koha Jone, which, together with the Socialist daily Zeri i Popullit, has been accused of receiving funds from the Serbian secret services. Koha Jone staff members expressed concern that the explosion may be used to exert pressure on the independent media. Albanian TV connected the blast to an article in Populli Po last November headlined: "The car bomb in Skopje could happen in Tirana," referring to the attack on Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov last October. The supermarket belongs to Vehbi Alimucaj, regarded as the richest businessman in Albania with a fortune totaling some $50 million. A spokesman for Alimucaj said he doubted the store was targeted specifically, international agencies reported on 26 February. -- Fabian Schmidt
The EU foreign ministers on 26 February backed Greece in its dispute with Turkey but did not fully endorse Athens' position, Western media reported. Italian Foreign Minister Susanna Agnelli said "We appealed to [Greece and Turkey] to begin a dialogue to avoid the threat of war" and to take the question of the uninhabited island of Imia/Kardak to the International Court of Justice if necessary. French Foreign Minister Herve de Charette said the EU Commission "went a little bit beyond its competence" when it expressed its "full solidarity" with Greece on 8 February. Meanwhile, Athens said it will review its efforts to block a 375 million ECU ($485 million) EU aid package to Turkey. Voting on the package is scheduled to take place at the next foreign ministers meeting in late March. -- Stefan Krause

Turkish caretaker Prime Minister Tansu Ciller left for Italy on 26 February for talks with her Italian counterpart, Lamberto Dini, to seek support among Turkey's EU allies, Turkish and Western media reported the same day. Before leaving, she said that Greek conduct over aid to Turkey was an "abuse" of its EU membership. She also said that any delay in granting the aid package would be "tantamount to a violation of the agreement." Ciller noted that Turkey "cannot be kept in Europe's waiting room" and would take its rightful place within the union. -- Lowell Bezanis

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave