Accessibility links

Newsline - September 7, 1999




WAR SCARE IN MOSCOW

Yevgenii Kiselev, the host of NTV's "Itogi" talk show, extended his program by two hours on 5 September because, he said, "war has begun," Reuters reported on 6 September. Other Russian commentators, officials, and experts contributed to the feeling that the fighting in Daghestan is about to expand further. For example, Emil Pain, one of Russia's leading specialists on ethnic conflicts, told Reuters on 6 September that "unfortunately we have to acknowledge the possibility of the start of a war comparable to the Chechen war in scale and possibly even worse in terms of its consequences." He added that "you cannot halt a movement [like the one in Daghestan] with attack aircraft. You only make it grow." Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov told Interfax the next day that "even as the situation in the North Caucasus is deteriorating and a major war is escalating in Daghestan, the executive authorities are acting as if nothing extraordinary is taking place." PG

OFFICIALS DENY STATE OF EMERGENCY BEING CONSIDERED

Russian Justice Minister Yurii Chaika told Interfax on 6 September that his ministry is not considering the introduction of a state of emergency or martial law as a result of developments in Daghestan. His comments followed remarks on 5 September by Duma Speaker Gennadii Seleznev that some officials might still be thinking about taking such a step, something he argued would be "illegal" and "unacceptable." The government's next major review of the situation in Daghestan is planned to take place at a 7 September meeting of the Russian Security Council, Interfax reported. PG

DUMA SEEKS YELTSIN REPORT ON DAGHESTAN

Roman Popkovich, the chairman of the Duma Defense Committee, told Interfax on 6 September that his group plans to invite President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to make a formal report on the events in Daghestan. "The war now under way in Daghestan will not end any time soon," he said. Moreover, he continued, "as long as the problem of Chechnya is not resolved, the Caucasus will not change for the better because immense amounts of money have been invested in triggering the fighting." PG

YELTSIN CONDEMNS MILITARY FOR 'SLOPPINESS' IN DAGHESTAN

Before meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on 7 September, the president condemned the Russian military for "sloppiness" in its campaign against insurgents in Daghestan, Russian agencies reported. "We shall discuss in detail why we lost an entire region in Daghestan," he said. Overall command of military operations in Daghestan has been repeatedly transferred from the Defense Ministry to the Interior Ministry and back to the Defense Ministry. PG/LF

FEDERAL FORCES FIGHTING ON SEVERAL FRONTS IN DAGHESTAN

Chechen militants extended their control over Novolaksk Raion on 6 September, occupying two villages and the town of Novolaksk, where a Russian Interior Ministry detachment was surrounded for most of 5 September before reinforcements arrived, Caucasus Press reported. The guerrillas are reportedly advancing northward on the town of Khasavyurt, from where a major highway leads to Makhachkala. Fierce fighting also continued for control of mountain villages fortified by the guerrillas in the Kadar region. And federal forces also continued their air and artillery bombardment of militants' positions near the villages of Chabanmakhi and Karamakhi on 6-7 September. LF

DAGHESTANI LEADERSHIP PROTESTS INCURSION

Meanwhile, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 7 September, without naming its source, that the Daghestan leadership is increasingly unhappy with the Russian military's tactics, in particular the de facto loss of Novolaksk and Moscow's refusal to issue weapons to several thousand Daghestani volunteers. The leadership of Daghestan has also lodged a formal protest with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov in connection with the most recent incursion by Chechen guerrillas. The Chechen fighters in question are reportedly commanded by field commanders Shamil Basaev and Khottab. LF

RUSSIA BOMBS CHECHNYA IN RETALIATION FOR INCURSION INTO DAGHESTAN

Russian military aircraft launched bombs and missiles against the town of Nozhai-Yurt and the villages of Ishkhoi Yurt and Zamai Yurt in southeastern Chechnya on the night of 5 September, Interfax reported ,quoting Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Kazbek Makhashev. Makhashev said that 25 people were killed and 40 wounded. Russian Interior Ministry spokesman Oleg Antonov told ITAR-TASS on 7 September that Russia will continue to bomb guerrilla bases in Chechnya even when those bases are located in populated areas. Basaev's press center issued a statement on 6 September vowing "impressive" retaliation for the bombing raids, Interfax reported. LF

YELTSIN ISSUES DENIAL ON FOREIGN ACCOUNTS

Shortly after presidential spokesman Dmitrii Yakushkin told Interfax on 6 September that Yeltsin has no plans to speak in public about the Mabatex scandal, Yakushkin went on Russian Television to say that the president has "ordered his press service to make a very short but specific announcement: Neither he nor members of his family has opened foreign bank accounts." Yeltsin, Yakushkin added, believes that his income is "absolutely transparent" as it is published annually. In other comments to Interfax, Yakushkin said that all the charges that have appeared in the media about this case are without any foundation. He added that the media has ignored "the fundamental principle of law" that those charged are presumed innocent until convicted. "One need not go out into the town square and state publicly that he is not guilty," Yakushkin continued, adding that "the methods of the Inquisition should not be restored at the end of the 20th century." PG

SKURATOV SAYS 780 OFFICIALS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR INSIDER TRADING

The 7 September "Moscow Times" quotes suspended Prosecutor-General Yurii Skuratov as saying that some 780 current and former government officials--including former First Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Chubais--are currently under investigation for using insider information while trading on the Russian treasury bill market. The newspaper also suggested that the scandals around Mabatex and the Bank of New York may be linked. PG

SCANDAL INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE

Nikolai Volkov, the chief investigator in the Aeroflot case, is to remain in Switzerland for "at least" another one or two days, Interfax reported on 6 September. Meanwhile, Russian officials announced they are sending a high-level delegation to the U.S., to participate in the Bank of New York investigation, Russian agencies reported. During a Moscow visit, U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos (D-California) expressed his view that the money-laundering case had been raised to undermine the candidacy of Al Gore for president, Interfax said. Duma member Aleksandr Shokhin said he favors a joint investigation by Russian and U.S. secret services into the multiple channels through which Russian capital has flowed abroad, ITAR-TASS reported. And PricewaterhouseCoopers has begun a second audit of the use of IMF loans by the Central Bank of Russia, Interfax reported on 6 September. PG

ENERGY MONOPOLY DENIES REPORTED LINK WITH SCANDAL

A spokesman for Unified Energy Systems rejected as totally false a report in Britain's "The Observer" that the firm is linked with a bank at the center of the Bank of New York money-laundering scandal, Interfax reported on 6 September. The spokesman said the report is "completely and totally false." In another scandal-related matter, German officials on 5 September said that some of the money involved in the Bank of New York money laundering case may have passed through German banks, dpa reported. PG

TALBOTT OPPOSES 'QUARANTINE' AGAINST RUSSIA

In an interview with NTV's "Itogi" program, US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott said Washington is opposed to any "quarantine" against Russia, Interfax reported on 6 September. He said that that word and "deterrence" are not used in any reasonable discussion of Russian-U.S. relations. Instead, Talbott suggested, one should talk about involvement, cooperation, common interests, mutual respect, and an open and honest exchange of views. The U.S. official added that Washington has repeatedly raised with Russian officials the question of corruption in Russia, and he noted that financial misconduct by some Russians has become an obstacle to future U.S. assistance. PG

FIGHT OVER OIL EXPORT DUTIES CONTINUES

First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko told Interfax on 6 September that the Russian government will decide later this week whether to levy a 7.5 euros ($7.9) or 10 euros duty per ton of oil exported. But oil companies and others who oppose the levy continue to lobby against it. LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov announced that his company will reduce exports by 7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period last year, because of such export duties. Meanwhile, Rosneft denied reports that it is the subject of a tax audit, Interfax reported on 6 September. PG

FIRST FATALITY FROM MANEZH ATTACK

Larisa Itani, 26, died on 5 September as a result of burns suffered during the 31 August attack on the Manezh shopping center in central Moscow, Interfax reported on 6 September. Her husband and another person remain in critical condition, while two other victims are in serious condition, the news agency said. Meanwhile, Russian police have arrested a man described only as "a Muscovite" on suspicion of involvement in the 31 August bombing, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 September. PG

IVANOV WELCOMES NEW ISRAEL-PLO ACCORDS

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said over the weekend that Moscow welcomes the latest round of agreements between Israel and Palestine, Interfax reported on 6 September. PG

KUZBASS MINE DIRECTOR MURDERED

Aleksandr Khavlyuk, the director of the Krasnyi Kuzbass coal mine, was found murdered near his home in Kiselevsk on 5 September, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 September. The next day, "Kommersant-Daily' reported that he died as a result of gun wounds to the head. PG/JC

AGREEMENT SIGNED ON GERMAN FUNDING FOR AMBER ROOM RESTORATION

Germany's Ruhrgas, the Russian Culture Ministry, and Tsarskoe Selo Museum signed an agreement on 6 September whereby the German company will spend $3.4 million to help restore the Amber Room in St. Catherine's Palace near St. Petersburg, dpa and Interfax reported. The Amber Room, which dated back to the early 18th century and contained amber panels, was dismantled and carried off by Nazi troops during World War II. Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Yegorov said the Ruhrgas offer is "a positive signal for German-Russian relations." PG/JC




KARABAKH LEADERSHIP INSISTS ON PARTICIPATION IN PEACE TALKS

Arkadii Ghukasian, the president of the unrecognized Nagorno- Karabakh Republic, was quoted on 6 September as having told a visiting U.S. Congressman that Armenia is not authorized to try to resolve the Karabakh conflict single-handedly in talks with Azerbaijan and that no peace settlement is possible without the participation and approval of Karabakh Armenian officials, RFE/RL's Stepanakert correspondent reported. Also on 6 September, Karen Mirzoyan, who is Karabakh's permanent representative in Yerevan, told RFE/RL that the most recent peace proposal by the OSCE Minsk Group should not be substantially amended to accommodate Azerbaijan's objections. Meeting in Yerevan two days earlier with the U.S. ambassador and the U.S. co-chairman of the Minsk Group, Karabakh Foreign Minister Naira Melkumian said that while the precise term used to define the future relations between Azerbaijan and the enclave may be changed, those relations must be based on the principle of equality, according to Noyan Tapan. LF

AZERBAIJAN'S PRESIDENT MAY SEEK THIRD TERM

President Heidar Aliev, who is 76, told leading members of his Yeni Azerbaycan party in Baku on 5 September that he feels well and may run for a third presidential term in 2003 "if the people want" him to do so, Turan reported. Aliyev was elected president in September 1993 and re-elected in October 1998. Turan said the rationale for his statement is that the present constitution, which allows one individual to serve no more than two consecutive terms as president, was adopted only in November 1995. Aliyev also praised Social Security Minister Ali Nagiev, leader of one of two rival factions within Yeni Azerbaycan, and defended the right of his son Ilham to a career in politics. Some observers believe that Ilham Aliyev is being groomed for the chairmanship of Yeni Azerbaycan as a first step toward succeeding his father as president (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 2, No. 34, 26 August 1999). LF

AZERBAIJAN'S FORMER PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER DENIES HE WAS DETAINED IN U.S.

Rasul Guliev told Turan on 6 September that reports by the Azerbaijani Interior Ministry and Prosecutor- General's office that U.S. immigration officials detained him on 3 September are disinformation. Guliev resigned three years ago as parliamentary speaker after harshly criticizing President Aliev's policies. In January 1998, the Azerbaijani Prosecutor's Office and National Security Ministry accused Guliev of conspiring from exile to overthrow President Aliyev and of embezzling millions of dollars. Three months later, the Azerbaijani parliament voted to strip him of his deputy's immunity (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 January and 8 April 1998). LF

FORMER KAZAKH PREMIER'S PARTY SPILTS

Lira Bayseitova, one of 15 former members of the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan who broke with that party last month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 August 1999), told journalists in Almaty on 6 September that the 15 have now registered a new political party named Respublika-2000, RFE/RL's bureau in the former capital reported. The new party has already succeeded in registering branches in five of Kazakhstan's 14 oblasts but will not be able contend the 10 October elections to the lower house of parliament as the 31 August deadline for applying to do so has already elapsed. The Republican People's Party is headed by former Premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin. Meanwhile, several would-be parliamentary candidates in Almaty have appealed to a local court to extend the 9 September deadline for registration, claiming that the Central Electoral Commission "deliberately" mislaid documents to create a pretext for failing to do so. LF

IS KAZAKHSTAN RETHINKING SALE OF OIL STAKE?

Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Nurlan Balghymbaev told journalists in Astana on 5 September that the planned sale of part of Kazakhstan's 25 percent stake in the U.S.-Kazakh consortium Tengizchevroil "is not an urgent need," Interfax reported. If the sale does go ahead, it will be "transparent" and Kazakhstan will seek a fair price, Balghymbaev added. Several prominent politicians have expressed their opposition to the planned sale, which Balghymbaev announced three weeks ago (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 August and 3 September 1999). On 6 September, Interfax quoted former KazakhOil head Nurlan Qapparov, who was fired for his opposition to the sell-off, as saying that neither KazakhOil nor any other government agency participated in talks on the sale. He said he cannot confirm that Mobil has offered to buy all or part of Kazakhstan's stake in Tengizchevroil at a price of $100 million for each 1 percent share. LF

KAZAKHSTAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER DISCLAIMS KNOWLEDGE OF MIG SALES

At a meeting in Tokyo on 6 September with his Japanese counterpart, Masahiko Komura, Kasymzhomart Toqaev again said that the government of Kazakhstan had no prior knowledge of the recent delivery to North Korea of some 30 MiG-21 aircraft, ITAR-TASS reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 23 August 1999). He added that Astana has asked North Korea to return the planes. Komura and Toqaev also discussed political and economic ties, and Japan undertook to continue to provide financial aid to Kazakhstan. LF

UZBEK MILITANTS READY TO NEGOTIATE WITH KYRGYZ GOVERNMENT...

At talks with Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan chairman Tursunbek Akunov, the estimated 400-500 ethnic Uzbek militants who still hold 12 hostages in southern Kyrgyzstan expressed their willingness to take part in negotiations in Batken with Kyrgyz government representatives, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported on 7 September, citing the presidential press service. Akunov returned to Batken on 7 September after meeting with the guerrillas. LF

...WHICH DOWNPLAYS DANGER

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 6 September saying that the Kyrgyz leadership is taking all necessary measures to neutralize the guerrillas and secure the hostages' release, Interfax reported. It called on the UN and OSCE to condemn "attempts by international terrorists" to "force their ideological views upon the people of Kyrgyzstan." Also on 6 September, presidential administration Defense and Security Department head General Bolot Djanuzakov told journalists that the hostage taking does not pose any danger to foreign residents in Kyrgyzstan. But "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 7 September that police in Bishkek are rounding up Afghans and Pakistanis on suspicion of being connected with the guerrillas. Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS reported that four residents of Aravan Raion in southern Kyrgyzstan were arrested on 5 September for possession of extremist Islamic literature. LF

TAJIK OPPOSITION PESSIMISTIC OVER CHANCES OF FAIR ELECTIONS...

Opposition party leaders aligned in the United Tajik Opposition and Communist Party head Shodi Shabdolov met in Dushanbe on 3 September to discuss the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, Asia Plus-Blitz reported on 6 September. At an earlier meeting, those opposition leaders said they fear it may prove impossible to create conditions for free and fair elections, in particular to allow all political parties access to the media and representation on election commissions, according to "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 4 September. LF

...WHILE WOULD-BE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES PRESSURED

Former Premier Abdumalik Abdulladjonov, who polled over 30 percent of the vote in the 1994 presidential elections, cannot return to Tajikistan to contend the poll as he is charged with masterminding the 1998 insurgency in Leninabad by Mahmud Khudoiberdiev. The Tajik authorities are also pressuring a second presidential hopeful, Congress of Peoples of Tajikistan leader Sayfiddin Turaev. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice has applied to the Supreme Court to disband the Agrarian Party and the Adolat va Taraqqiyot Party. LF




BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES CONTINUE TO OPPRESS OPPOSITION, DESPITE TALKS

Yury Khadyka, deputy chairman of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front, said on 6 September that despite the start of talks between the authorities and the opposition (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September 1999), the authorities continue to harass oppositionists. As proof, he cited the two summons he recently received from a court and a police station in connection with his alleged wrong-doings in opposition marches on 21 and 27 July. According to the Spring-96 human rights group, cited by Belapan, the authorities' treatment of Khadyka is aimed at making it difficult for oppositionists to prepare for talks with the government. Khadyka heads an opposition expert group for working out a schedule of the talks. JM

KUCHMA DETAILS HIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PROGRAM...

Unveiling his election platform on 6 September, President Leonid Kuchma said that if he had not sought re-election, "I would not have been able to respect myself," Interfax reported. The economic part of that platform, which Kuchma said was developed by the "cream of the production sector and academic circles," foresees GDP growth of 2 percent next year. Under his leadership, Kuchma promised, Ukraine would continue economic reforms to become a "socially oriented" state. He added that the country's foreign policy would be based on integration with the EU and at the same time close cooperation with the CIS. He stressed, however, that Ukraine would not join CIS supranational bodies. JM

...REMAINS UPBEAT ON FOREIGN DEBT...

Kuchma also said he expects creditors to forgive part of Ukraine's foreign debt, which now exceeds $12 billion, AP reported. "It is in everyone's interests that there should be a stable Ukraine in the center of Europe and nothing like Yugoslavia," Interfax quoted him as saying. He added that a Ukrainian delegation is to leave soon for talks with the Paris Club. JM

...TOPS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION POPULARITY POLL

According to a poll conducted by Socis-Gallup in late August among some 2,400 Ukrainians, Kuchma has 30.61 percent backing, Natalya Vitrenko 23.03 percent, Petro Symonenko 19.88 percent, Yevhen Marchuk 6.52 percent, Oleksandr Moroz 6.38 percent, Oleksandr Tkachenko 2.78 percent, Hennadiy Udovenko 2.63 percent, Yuriy Kostenko 1.20 percent, Vasyl Onopenko 0.45 percent, and Volodymyr Oliynyk 0.23 percent, Interfax reported on 6 September. JM

LATVIANS EXPRESS DISTRUST TOWARD BANKS

BNS reported that a survey carried out by the SKDS market research firm suggests Latvians do not trust local banks. Of the respondents, 74.4 percent said they have no confidence in Latvia's banks, while only 14.8 percent expressed confidence. The survey suggest that the higher the individual's income, the greater his trust in the banking sector. Nonetheless, only 28.2 percent of those making more than 127 lats ($215) a month expressed such trust. MH

REFERENDUM PETITION DRIVE BEGINS IN LATVIA

The campaign to collect signatures for a referendum on amendments to the law on pensions began on 6 September. The unpopular measure, which would raise the retirement age and restrict pension payments for working pensioners, was passed last month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 August 1999). However, more than one- third of the parliament's members signed a petition for a two-month delay, allowing a petition drive for a plebiscite on the issue. Ten percent of voters must sign the petition within the next month for the vote to take place. Meanwhile, BNS reported that President Vaira Vike-Freiberga voiced reservations about the restriction of payments to working pensioners, saying "I think that a person has the right to the pension that he or she has earned." MH

IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS LITHUANIA

During a visit to Lithuania on 5-6 September, David Andrews met with President Valdas Adamkus, Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas, and other officials. EU enlargement dominated the discussions, as well as the two countries' desire to win a seat on the UN Security Council. ELTA reported that Ireland will contest a seat for the 2001-2002 session, while Lithuania will do so for the 2004-2005 session. Andrews reaffirmed Ireland's support for Lithuania to begin EU accession talks. MH

POLAND'S FORMER PREMIER ALLEGEDLY CHECKED FOR SECRET SERVICE TIES

Democratic Left Alliance parliamentary deputy Janusz Zemke has said the Lustration Court is checking his parliamentary colleague Jozef Oleksy, who was prime minister in 1995-1996, in connection with the latter's lustration statement, Polish Radio reported on 6 September. According to Zemke, Oleksy underwent training in military intelligence in the army but mentioned this fact not in his lustration statement proper but in an annex to it. This prompted the lustration prosecutor to submit Oleksy's statement to court scrutiny. Oleksy declined to tell Polish Radio whether he was trained for military intelligence in Communist-era Poland. The Lustration Court has not confirmed that it is examining Oleksy's lustration statement. JM

POLISH MINING SECTOR REGISTERS BIGGER LOSSES THAN EXPECTED

The coal mining sector lost 1.92 billion zlotys ($477 million) from January-July, some 500 million zlotys more than planned for the entire year, PAP reported on 6 September. It is expected that the sector's losses for 1999 as a whole will total 3.3 billion zlotys. So far, the government has spent some $440 million on compensation to miners who have been laid off or are being retrained under a restructuring plan introduced last year. JM

SLOVAK PREMIER RETURNS TO 'MOTHER PARTY'...

Mikulas Dzurinda told journalists on 6 September that he has rejoined the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), SITA and CTK reported. He said his decision was influenced by prominent KDH members who on 1 September had called for an end of the confrontation between Dzurinda and KDH chairman Jan Carnogursky. Dzurinda, who remains chairman of the five-party Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK) alliance, said it is "too early" to say whether he will challenge Carnogursky for the post of KDH chairman or whether the KDH statutes, which prevent SDK officials from seeking leadership posts in the KDH, will be changed. Dzurinda said he has never sought to transform the SDK into a new political party and that he will strive for the SDK and the KDH to "coexist." MS

...DRAWING MIXED RESPONSES

Carnogursky commented that Dzurinda is "welcome back" and that the KDH will now witness a "noble struggle" between two opinions on the movement's future. He said he hopes the confrontation will be "fair," adding that Dzurinda's decision shows that "it is impossible to liquidate the KDH." KDH deputy chairman Vladimir Palko said that Dzurinda, together with Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner and former Transportation Minister Gabriel Palacka (who also announced their return to the KDH), had to make a choice "between sacrificing their vision or their political future and they decided to sacrifice the vision," SITA reported. MS

SLOVAKIA REOPENS DUBCEK DEATH INVESTIGATION

The Interior Ministry, responding to a request by the Social Democratic Party (SDSS), announced on 6 September it is reopening the investigation into the September 1992 death of former SDSS chairman and architect of the "Prague Spring" Alexander Dubcek, CTK and Reuters reported. Since the death, rumors have persisted that political rivals or the KGB may have been involved in provoking the car crash in which Dubcek died. His driver, who was found guilty of "negligence" in the earlier investigation, was also involved in the disappearance of communist secret service files on Vladimir Meciar, who was premier at the time of Dubcek's death. MS

HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT IN SLOVAKIA

Arpad Goencz, on an official visit to Slovakia, told his Slovak counterpart, Rudolf Schuster, on 6 September that their two countries must take advantage of the present "historical opportunity," when their views "are identical," to boost cooperation. Alluding to the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, Goencz said that "a satisfied minority is the least dangerous minority." He also explained why the law on minority representation in the Hungarian parliament has not yet been passed, saying that the official recognition of more than a dozen minorities might "disrupt the balance of the Hungarian parliamentary system." Schuster presented a plan aimed at "cooperation without borders, because we do not want to have the Schengen border with either Hungary, or Poland, and least of all with the Czech Republic," SITA and CTK reported. MS

FORMER HUNGARIAN PREMIER LEFT OUT OF BORDER OPENING ANNIVERSARY

Gyula Horn on 6 September complained that neither himself nor others who played a significant role in the opening of Hungary's border with Austria in 1989 are among those invited to a ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of that event. Horn, who was foreign minister at the time, said "an apparent falsification of history is going on." He added that the way members of the present government "try to present themselves as the sole resistance fighters" is both "low and primitive." Hungarian media report that among those not invited to the commemorative 10 September parliamentary session are Miklos Nemeth, who at the time was prime minister, German former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and German former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. MSZ


XS
SM
MD
LG