OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 110, 7 June 1995
CHERNOMYRDIN SAYS WILL NOT RUN FOR PRESIDENT.
After meeting with the
Krasnodar branch of his electoral bloc Our Home Is Russia, Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin said he will not run for president in 1996, Interfax
reported. He said he hoped to advance Russian reforms by winning the December
parliamentary elections. Chernomyrdin's recent entry into partisan politics
caused speculation that he would challenge Yeltsin in next year's presidential
elections. * Laura Belin
SHUMEIKO READY TO COMPROMISE ON ELECTORAL LAW.
Speaker Vladimir Shumeiko is ready to accept an electoral law that lets half of
the Duma members be chosen by party lists, according to the head of the Council
press center Yury Algunov, Interfax reported on 6 June. Shumeiko's decision to
accept the Duma's position represents an about-face for the upper house
speaker, who as recently as 1 June said the Council would never allow the
current ratio of party-list members in the Duma. * Robert Orttung
SHAKHRAI'S POSITION IN DANGER?
Rumors that President Yeltsin is angry
with Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai and wants to fire him appeared in
the 3-4 June edition of Kuranty. ITAR-TASS general director Vitaly
Ignatenko recently took over Shakhrai's responsibility for supervising media
affairs. The paper suggests that Shakhrai was targeted for criticism because he
was becoming too powerful. His competitors within the administration feared
that by controlling over the media and playing a major role in Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin's new right-center bloc, which he helped to found, Shakhrai
would have undue influence over the campaign. Another scenario suggests that
Shakhrai is being punished for being too critical of the way Russian Public
Television was created. * Robert Orttung
EFFORTS TO IMPROVE NEWS COVERAGE AT RUSSIAN PUBLIC TELEVISION.
Blagovolin, director general of the partly-private Russian Public Television
company (ORT), told Vechernyaya Moskva on 6 June that ORT executives
planned "decisive" measures to improve ORT's news coverage, including a new
weekly analytical program along the lines of NTV's highly-regarded Sunday show
"Itogi." NTV attracts higher ratings than ORT for news, which are the only
programs currently produced by ORT itself. Blagovolin noted that most programs
shown on Channel 1 continue to be produced by state-owned Ostankino, but ORT
orders shows from independent TV companies as well. ORT took over Channel 1
broadcasting from Ostankino on 1 April as part of a controversial restructuring
plan ordered by President Yeltsin in November 1994. * Laura Belin
GOVORUKHIN ATTACKS MEDIA COVERAGE OF CHECHNYA.
In a 6 June interview
published in Krasnaya zvezda, Duma Commission on Chechnya Chairman
Stanislav Govorukhin attacked the mass media for allegedly spreading lies about
the Russian armed forces in Chechnya. Govorukhin singled out NTV and the
newspapers Moskovsky komsomolets and Komsomolskaya pravda for
reporting that Russian soldiers slaughtered civilians in Samashki on 7-8 April.
He called such coverage a "revolt" led by the mass media against the president,
the government, parliament, and the Russian people. * Laura Belin
GRYZUNOV ON MEASURES AGAINST EXTREMIST PUBLICATIONS.
During the past six
months, the Russian Press Committee has issued at least 30 warnings to
newspapers and magazines for their content, but none of them have been shut
down, Sergei Gryzunov, the committee's chairman, wrote in Izvestiya on 6
June. There are currently only two cases (against Zavtra and Al
Kods) before the courts. Gryzunov complained that the authorities are more
interested in taking superficial measures than actually dealing with the root
causes of extremism in Russian society. He added that even if the press
committee closed all of Russia's extremist papers, they would immediately
reappear under a new name, just as Zavtra has replaced Den.
* Robert Orttung
ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE CLOSES.
The first All-Russian Congress on
Environmental Protection, held in Moscow from 3 to 5 June, issued a resolution
promising to support political parties and movements "that demonstrate a
serious and consistent approach to ecological problems," Izvestiya
reported on 6 June. According to Komsomolskaya pravda, the 1,000 or so
environmentalists found the army to be one of the biggest polluters, noting in
particular the problems of radioactive waste disposal and the destruction of
military equipment. Up to 20,000 cubic meters of liquid and 6,000 tons of solid
radioactive waste are produced by nuclear-powered vessels each year, much of
which is regularly dumped into the northern and far eastern seas. * Penny
JUVENILE CRIME INCREASING.
Juvenile crime has increased by about 50%
over the past five years, according to officials from the Ministry of Internal
Affairs. The number of repeat juvenile offenders has increased by 60% over the
past three years, Radio Rossii reported on 2 June. Young people aged between 14
and 18 account for 8% of the Russian population but committed 16% of all
recorded crimes. Teenagers committed 60 murders in Moscow last year. * Penny
RUSSIA HAS THIRD HIGHEST SUICIDE RATE.
Russia has the third-highest
suicide rate in the world, according to a report in Vechernyaya Moskva
on 6 June citing Gennady Osipov, the director of the Russian Academy of
Sciences Sociopolitical Research Institute. The number of suicides increased
from 39,150 in 1990 to 56,136 in 1993. In addition, 3.6 million people sought
psychiatric help in 1993, a 9.6% increase over 1992. In 1994, the suicide rate
increased 11%, according to a late March edition of Pravda. * Penny
RUSSIA REASSERTS POSITION ON CASPIAN SEA REGIME.
Russia reserves the
right to take measures to block the "unilateral actions" of other states in the
Caspian Sea, asserted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesmen Grigory Karasin on 6
June. According to Interfax, Karasin told a briefing in Moscow that Russia
regards the Soviet-Iranian treaties of 1921 and 1940 as the basis of
international access to the Caspian Sea. Any changes in this regime, he argued,
"must involve all the Caspian states," and attempts by outside states to
"intervene" were "inappropriate." Karasin also rejected the suggestion that
international maritime law is applicable in the Caspian Sea, which he described
as an "internal continental basin." The statement is the latest Russian move in
the ongoing dispute with Azerbaijan over the issue of oil exploration and
exports. * Scott Parrish
RUSSIA SOFTENS STANCE ON NATO FORCE FOR BOSNIA.
On 6 June, after talks
with his British counterpart Douglas Hurd, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev said he is "somewhat reassured" about the NATO plan to create a "rapid
reaction force" to support UN peacekeepers in Bosnia. The weakening of earlier
Russian objections to such a force followed assurances by Hurd and other
Western officials that its deployment would have to be approved by the UN
Security Council, Western agencies and Interfax reported. Kozyrev said Russia
could agree to an additional deployment of troops under UN auspices, but said
it could prove counterproductive and trigger an escalation of hostilities in
Bosnia. Also on 6 June, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev told Interfax
that Russian peacekeepers would remain in Bosnia, although he said there are no
plans to reinforce them. * Scott Parrish
RETAIL PRICES INCREASE IN MAY.
Retail prices in Russia increased 7.9% in
May, Izvestiya reported on 6 June. According to Goskomstat figures, food
items were up 8.8%, consumer goods 5.6%, and consumer services 11.1% from the
previous month. During the first five months of this year, retail prices
increased 67%, according to the report. * Thomas Sigel
BUDGET COMMITTEE REJECTS PARAMONOVA.
The State Duma Budget Committee
rejected President Boris Yeltsin's recommendation to name Tatyana Paramonova as
Chairwoman of Russia's Central Bank for a second time, NCA and Interfax
reported on 6 June. Paramonova currently serves as acting director of the
Central Bank. The committee will recommend that the upcoming Duma plenary
conference reject Paramonova's candidacy for the bank post. * Thomas Sigel
DUMA TO CONSIDER DRAFT LAW TO TIGHTEN CONTROL OVER EXTRA-BUDGETARY
The State Duma presented a draft law on 6 June that would tighten
control over extra-budgetary social and economic funds, Interfax reported. The
vote on the first reading of the draft, scheduled for 7 June, could prove to be
a test of corruption in the State Duma, according to Oksana Dmitrieva, the
chairwoman of the Sub-Committee for Budget Systems and Extra-Budgetary Funds,
since monitoring of these funds has been lax. The draft calls for budgets of
extra-budgetary social funds to be audited before being submitted to the State
Duma together with the draft federal budget. The draft law would also require
these funds to open accounts in the Central Bank and its branches, not in
commercial banks. Dmitrieva said the volume of extra-budgetary social funds in
1994 was 115 trillion rubles, which was equal to 70% of federal revenues. *
PRIVATIZATION OF SBERBANK POSTPONED.
A Sberbank representative told
Segodnya on 6 June that the state savings bank decided to postpone until
the end of 1995 an extraordinary shareholders' meeting to discuss the question
of privatization. The bank is waiting for the State Duma Budget Committee to
prepare a proposal to amend the Law on the Russian Central Bank, which in part
bans the bank from owning shares in other commercial banks, specifically
Sberbank and Vneshtorgbank. * Thomas Sigel
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 110, 7 June 1995
MILITARY ACTION FLARES UP IN TAJIKISTAN AS PEACE TALKS STALL.
wake of negotiations in Almaty between the Tajik government and the opposition,
it appears the opposition has decided to step up pressure on Dushanbe by
playing the military card. Although agreement was reached on repatriation of
Tajik refugees in Afghanistan and an exchange of prisoners, the two sides
failed to agree on the vital issue of restructuring the government to include
members of the opposition. The new commander of the CIS border forces in
Tajikistan, Lt. Gen. Valentin Bobryshev, repeated old allegations that Islamic
extremists, financed by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and "some other countries are
still trying to solve political problems by force," according to Interfax.
Novosti and Ekho Moskvy reported that the frequency of incidents on the
Tajik-Afghan border has increased dramatically since the talks ended in Almaty
on 2 June. * Bruce Pannier
AZERBAIJAN AND NATO.
Following talks between the deputy commander of
NATO combined armed forces in Europe, Jeremy McKenzie, and Azerbaijani Foreign
Minister Hasan Hasanov, Azerbaijan is ready to sign a document outlining areas
of cooperation with the alliance, Interfax reported on 6 June. Mckenzie said
NATO could help Azerbaijan in various areas such as training, defense budget
planning, creating anti-terrorist units and natural disaster relief. The June
NATO conference in Brussels is to discuss the timetable for Azerbaijan's
participation in joint military exercises under the Partnership for Peace (PfP)
program. Azerbaijan joined the PfP in June 1994. * Lowell Bezanis
AKAYEV OPENS REGIONAL COOPERATION CONFERENCE.
The Central Asian
Conference on Regional Cooperation opened on 5 June, not 12 June as was
reported in the 6 June edition of OMRI Daily Digest. According to
Interfax, in his opening speech to the conference Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev
proposed the creation of a new institution to promote trans-border cooperation.
The new body would involve representatives of different branches of authority,
political parties, and ethnic groups. Akayev was in favor of giving the
conference on regional cooperation permanent status in order to forestall
economic, military, and political conflicts. The Kyrgyz president also
suggested the creation of a consultative council, which would promote
cooperation, work out a regional development strategy, and study the effect of
the global economy on Central Asia, according to Interfax. * Bruce Pannier
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 110, 7 June 1995
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT CANCELS TRIP TO ROMANIA BECAUSE OF DOMESTIC CRISIS.
Leonid Kuchma has canceled a scheduled trip to Bucharest for a summit of the
Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization at the end of June, Reuters and
Interfax-Ukraine reported on 6 June. Foreign Minister Henadii Udovenko told
reporters that the domestic political crisis forced Kuchma to make the
decision. He stressed the move was in no way connected to a territorial dispute
between Kiev and Bucharest over land annexed by the former Soviet Union under
the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Diplomatic sources said the meeting had been
expected to serve as a forum for the Ukrainian and Romanian leaders to sign
long-awaited friendship and border treaties. * Chrystyna Lapychak
UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL SEEKS PARLIAMENT'S CONSENT TO INDICT DEPUTY
The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's office is seeking the
legislature's consent to prosecute its first deputy chairman, Oleksander
Tkachenko, on charges of embezzling government funds, Interfax-Ukraine and
Radio Ukraine reported on 6 June. The parliament must strip Tkachenko of his
immunity from prosecution to allow law enforcement officials to indict him on
charges of misappropriating state funds while chairman of the Zemlya i Lyudy
agricultural association. Lawmakers on 6 June voted to temporarily suspend both
Prosecutor-General Vladyslav Datsiuk and Tkachenko from their duties and set up
a special inquiry committee to look into the matter. Tkachenko and other
legislators have accused Datsiuk of heading a "politically-motivated"
conspiracy to remove the conservative deputy speaker from his post. * Chrystyna
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT INITIALLY APPROVES NEW FOREIGN INVESTMENT BILL.
Ukrainian legislature on 6 June gave its initial approval to a new bill on
foreign investments in Ukraine, the third such draft since 1991,
Interfax-Ukraine and Radio Ukraine reported the same day. The bill outlines the
legal guarantees and privileges available to foreign investors. According to
government sources, foreign investments have declined since 1991, accounting
for only 2.3% of GDP last year, down from 4% in 1993 and 3.8% in 1992. *
EURASIAN SOCIALIST CONGRESS FOUNDED IN KIEV.
CIS socialist parties,
meeting in Kiev, have founded a Eurasian Socialist Congress, Interfax-Ukraine
reported 6 June. Oleksander Moroz, chairman of the Ukrainian parliament and
leader of the Socialist Party of Ukraine, was elected chairman. The congress
espouses "integration processes and humanitarian cooperation, development, and
propaganda of a modern socialist alternative." Socialist parties from Spain,
Serbia, France, and Romania sent observers to the new body's founding congress.
* Chrystyna Lapychak
UKRAINE RESUMES MERGER OF AIR, AIR DEFENSE FORCES.
Interfax on 6 June
reported that Ukraine has begun to merge its Air Force and Anti-Aircraft
Defense Force to form the Ukrainian Air Defense Force. It quoted the commander
of the new service, Lt. Gen. Volodymyr Tkachev, as saying the purpose of the
merger was to abolish redundant structures and increase effectiveness. A
similar merger was announced in early 1993, only to be suspended in December of
that year. * Doug Clarke
BELARUSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER RESIGNS UNDER CLOUD.
Col. Gen. Anatol
Kastenka has resigned following an investigation that revealed illegal
financial and commercial dealings in his department, Radio Minsk announced on 6
June. The report criticized Kostenko for his "lack of control" over the
military. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka accepted his resignation and
appointed Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Leonid Maltsev as acting defense minister.
Kastenka's predecessor also resigned over a financial scandal. * Doug Clarke
BALTIC NAVIES TAKE PART IN NATO EXERCISE.
Warships from the three Baltic
States are taking part in the NATO naval exercise Baltops '95, which began in
the Baltic Sea on 6 June, Interfax reported. A Lithuanian frigate and
mine-sweepers from Estonia and Latvia are participating--as are naval forces
from Poland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, the
Netherlands, and the U.S. During the Cold War, the Baltops maneuvers were
annual NATO-only naval exercises in the Baltic demonstrating a NATO naval
presence in that area. Participants in the Partnership for Peace program and
others have recently been invited to take part. * Doug Clarke
ESTONIA NOT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FOR RESIDENCE PERMITS.
Tiit Vahi told the press on 6 June that the government has decided not to
extend the 12 July deadline for aliens residing in Estonia to apply for
residence permits, Interfax reported. He emphasized that residents who do not
apply will not be regarded as "illegal immigrants, subject to automatic
dismissal from their jobs and deportation from the country." They will retain
their property and labor rights but will not be able to participate in local
elections. The Estonian Citizenship and Migration Department said that only
200,000 of the country's 400,000 aliens have applied for residence permits. *
UZBEK PRESIDENT IN LATVIA.
Islam Karimov and Latvian President Guntis
Ulmanis signed a bilateral friendship and cooperation agreement in Riga on 6
June, BNS reported. Foreign Ministers Abdulaziz Kamilov and Valdis Birkavs
signed agreements on air communications, transport, tourism, and scientific
cooperation as well as a protocol on consultations between their foreign
ministries. The Uzbek delegation travels to Vilnius on 7 June for a two-day
visit. * Saulius Girnius
POLISH GOVERNMENT APPROVES ANTI-INFLATIONARY POLICIES.
Minister Grzegorz Kolodko on 6 June won support from the cabinet for
anti-inflationary measures allowing the liberalization of food imports, more
government intervention in the food market, tighter wage and price controls,
and stricter budgetary discipline. Kolodko urged the Polish National Bank to
slow down the monthly devaluation of the zloty against a basket of hard
currencies, Polish and international media reported. Also on 6 June, the
government approved tougher anti-drug legislation that introduces prison terms
for drug possession and makes no distinction between hard and soft drugs. *
CHINESE DELEGATION IN POLAND.
A Chinese parliamentary delegation on 6
June met with members of the Sejm Foreign Affairs Commission. Answering
questions about the June 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre, General Shu Shin said
intervention had been necessary and only criminals were arrested there. The
Chinese delegation demanded that the press be ordered not to cover the meeting,
but commission president Bronislaw Geremek assured them that the press would be
objective, Gazeta Wyborcza reported. * Jakub Karpinski
BANK GOVERNOR SAYS FOREIGN CAPITAL IS FLOODING CZECH ECONOMY.
capital in the Czech economy exceeded $3 billion at the end of May and is
producing strong inflationary pressures, Czech National Bank Governor Josef
Tosovsky said on 6 June. He told an international conference the economy cannot
absorb the huge inflow of foreign capital, adding that the bank's hard currency
reserves have risen from $6.2 billion to $9.5 billion, Hospodarske noviny
reported. Tosovsky said much of the foreign capital is short-term
speculative money. The government is expected to approve a new hard currency
law next week. Since the parliament will not discuss the new legislation until
September, the earliest date the koruna can become convertible is October.
Tosovsky also said that expected GDP growth of 3.5% this year is "fragile." *
SLOVAK PREMIER ON NEW PRIVATIZATION CONCEPT.
Vladimir Meciar and Deputy
Prime Minister Sergej Kozlik on 6 June told journalists that under the new
voucher privatization concept in Slovakia, the National Property Fund will
distribute bonds worth 35 billion koruny, with each citizen receiving bonds
worth 10,000 koruny. Citizens will be able to use bonds not only to buy shares
in companies that are to be privatized but also in a variety of other ways--for
example, as down payment on an apartment. The Slovak government also decided
not to abolish the import surcharge, which the Czech government recently cited
as one of the reasons for proposing that the payments clearing system used in
bilateral trade be abolished. Pravda on 7 June reported that Meciar, has
sent a letter to Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus reacting to Czech efforts to
abolish the clearing system. * Jiri Pehe
HUNGARIAN PREMIER MEETS CLINTON.
Gyula Horn, on an eight-day visit to
the U.S., met with U.S. President Bill Clinton in the White House on 6 June ,
international media reported. After the meeting, Horn told reporters he
expected Hungary to join NATO in 1997 and that Clinton had assured him the U.S.
supports Hungary's membership in NATO. However, a White House official told
reporters that "timetables did not come up in the Oval Office." A White House
statement said that Clinton affirmed to Horn "that NATO will take in new
members on a country-by-country basis, in a steady, gradual, and transparent
fashion." Horn also met with representatives of the International Finance
Corporation, the private sector affiliate of the World Bank, and
representatives of the U.S. Overseas Investment Corporation. The two
organizations will provide Hungary with a $105 million loan to develop a
nationwide digital cellular telephone network. * Jiri Pehe
EAST EUROPEAN MINISTERS MEET EU COUNTERPARTS IN BRUSSELS.
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the three
Baltic States met with EU counterparts in Brussels on 6 June to discuss how to
prepare for membership, Reuters reported the same day. Czech Trade and Industry
Minister Vladimir Dlouhy was reported as saying that the East's integration
into the EU should be "a two-way street." Polish Undersecretary of State Janek
Saryus-Wolski complained that Eastern applicants were being asked to do more to
apply EU rules than current members, who have so far enacted only 92% of EU
laws. * Michael Mihalka
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 110, 7 June 1995
SERBS FREE 108 HOSTAGES.
International media reported on 7 June that
Bosnian Serbs the previous night sent 108 of their captives to Novi Sad via
Mali Zvornik, on the Serbian-Bosnian border. The men will be flown out from
Belgrade and include 17 British, 32 French, and 58 Ukrainian soldiers, plus one
Spanish military observer. The Serbs still hold about 150 peacekeepers, whom
they indicated would also be released soon. Mlada fronta dnes said the
three Czech hostages continue to be held. Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic's security chief had held long talks with the Bosnian Serb
leadership, as had the Greek foreign and defense ministers, who then also met
with Milosevic. Nasa Borba reported that the Greeks are claiming credit
for the releases, but the BBC noted that Milosevic will be anxious to take
credit for himself to pry more concessions from the UN on the lifting of
sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro. * Patrick Moore
SERBS TAKE WEAPONS FROM UN COLLECTION SITES.
Bosnian Serb troops took
one tank and a 100 mm gun from UN storage depots near Sarajevo, AFP said on 7
June. The M-36 tank was driven from Bare, where two French peacekeepers still
refuse to let the Serbs take them hostage. Vjesnik reported from Orasje
that the Serbian assault on the Croatian-held pocket in northern Bosnian has
now gone on for over a month. The BBC noted that the food situation in many of
the besieged, mainly Muslim areas of Bosnia is becoming acute, with supplies
being given only to the weak and sick in some places. * Patrick Moore
"PANIC IN KNIN."
This is how Vjesnik on 7 June described the
situation in Krajina following the advance by Croatian forces to within
shelling range of the Grahovo road connecting Knin with Banja Luka. Western
news agencies speculated on growing rifts within the Krajina leadership under
President Milan Martic, who recently sacked the prime minister, considered
Milosevic's man in Knin. Nasa Borba added that the first refugees have
already begun leaving Krajina for Bosnian Serb territory. Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman's top aide, Hrvoje Sarinic, said Zagreb is willing to talk with
Knin. Krajina is impoverished, and speculation is rife that Milosevic has
written it off in a secret deal with Tudjman that would let Serbia hold the
rich area of eastern Slavonia in return for giving less desirable real estate
back to Croatia. * Patrick Moore
BELGRADE TALKS HIT IMPASSE.
Negotiations between US envoy Robert Frasure
and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic aimed at securing the rump
Yugoslavia's recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina in exchange for the lifting of
sanctions broke down on 6 June, Reuters reported that same day. The talks hit
an impasse when Milosevic objected to the idea of introducing a mechanism
whereby a body other than the UN Security Council may reintroduce sanctions. *
ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADER RELEASED ON BAIL IN MACEDONIA.
leader of the ethnic Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity-Party for the
People's Union (PPD-PUPM), has been released on DM 70,000 bail, Flaka
reported on 6 June. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison on 19 May for
preventing the police from carrying out their duties in connection with a
police raid on the self-proclaimed Albanian-language university of Tetovo. The
17 February raid led to clashes between ethnic Albanians and police in which
one Albanian was killed. Halili has been criticized by nationalist ethnic
Albanians for his moderate stance in the parliament. * Fabian Schmidt
JAPAN CONTINUES TO ASSIST MACEDONIA.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei
Kono on 6 June said Japan will continue extending financial and technological
aid, totaling $5.9 million, to Macedonia to help promote stability in the
Balkans, Reuters reported the same day. Kono made the pledge at a meeting with
his Macedonian counterpart, Stevo Crvenkovski, who currently is visiting Japan.
* Fabian Schmidt
ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT OFFERS UNIONS SOCIAL PACT.
The Romanian government,
in an effort to stem recent labor protests, has offered a "social pact" to the
three main labor unions. The pact, presented at a press conference organized by
the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, includes a 10% pay increase by
the end of 1995 if the unions call off the strikes and stay out of politics.
Leaders of the National Confederation of Romania's Free Trade Unions-The
Brotherhood, the National Labor Bloc, and Alfa Cartel responded by announcing
that the protests would resume on 14 June. The government's move follows a week
of strikes and protests in the power and rail sectors. A strike by electricity
workers ended on 6 June after they were granted a 5% wage increase effective
from 1 June and an additional 12% by the end of the year. * Dan Ionescu
ROMANIAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES ETHNIC HUNGARIAN LEADER.
Ion Iliescu on 6
June met with Bela Marko, chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of
Romania (UDMR), Radio Bucharest reported. The two men discussed the resolutions
adopted at the UDMR's recent congress in Cluj. Marko complained about Romanian
nationalist parties' attacks on those resolutions, which urge greater
self-determination for the country's large Magyar community. Both Iliescu and
Marko stressed the need for closer contacts between the Presidency and the
UDMR. * Dan Ionescu
JUSTICE MINISTERS CONFERENCE IN BUCHAREST.
An unofficial conference of
European justice ministers began in Bucharest on 6 June, Radio Bucharest
reported. The meeting, organized by the Council of Europe and the Romanian
Justice Ministry, focuses on the role of justice ministers in coordinating the
legislative process and international cooperation in Europe. The inaugural
session was opened by Romanian President Ion Iliescu and Council of Europe
Deputy Secretary General Peter Leuprecht. * Dan Ionescu
MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT SAYS RUSSIA HAS SPECIAL ROLE IN DNIESTER REGION.
Mircea Snegur has said Russia plays a special role in efforts to settle the
conflict in the Dniester region, Interfax reported on 6 June. Snegur made the
comment after accepting the credentials of the new Russian ambassador in
Chisinau, Alexander Papkin. He proposed that Papkin brief President Boris
Yeltsin on a draft document outlining a special status for the Dniester region
based on recommendations by the OSCE mission in Moldova. Snegur is expected to
discuss the draft at his meeting with Tiraspol leaders on 7 June. * Dan
KULIKOV IN BULGARIA.
Marshal Viktor Kulikov, commander of the Warsaw
Pact forces from 1977 until that organization's demise in 1991, criticized
aspects of Soviet foreign policy during a recent visit to Bulgaria, AFP
reported on 5 June. Referring to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, Kulikov
said "With the benefit of hindsight and as a soldier, I condemn this action."
He did, however, defend current Russian policy in Chechnya, insisting that
Moscow's military action was in response to violations of the constitution.
Kulikov also met with former Bulgarian communist dictator Todor Zhivkov. * Stan
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave
Copyright(c)1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights