OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 111, 8 June 1995
YELTSIN ACCEPTS DUMA VERSION OF ELECTORAL LAW, WITH SOME MODIFICATIONS.
President Yeltsin has agreed to accept an electoral system requiring an equal
proportion of Duma deputies elected on party lists and in single-member
districts, Interfax reported on 7 June. However, Yeltsin suggested that 90% of
the party tickets be made up of candidates from the provinces with candidates
from the national leadership making up the rest. The national candidates would
not be allowed to run simultaneously in single-member districts; so if a party
does not win at least 5% of the popular vote, which is the minimum required to
be included in the Duma, its leadership would be excluded from the lower house.
However, Duma deputy Anatoly Lukyanov said the conciliatory committee had
already rejected this proposal, NTV reported. Additionally, Yeltsin wants to
limit the representation of any single region to 20% of the regional part of
the list. He is also willing to accept a 25% voter turnout as sufficient to
validate the elections, as long as they are held in two rounds. * Robert
RYABOV WELCOMES ELECTION WATCHDOG GROUP.
Nikolai Ryabov, chairman of the
Central Electoral Commission (TsIK), welcomed the plans of several democratic
parties to create the watchdog group "For Honest Elections," NTV reported on 7
June. Ryabov promised to facilitate the work of independent election observers
and said he only hoped they would not limit their activities to supervising
vote counts. * Laura Belin
YELTSIN VETOES LAW ON RUSSIAN PUBLIC TELEVISION.
rejected a law that would have suspended the creation of the partly-private
Russian Public Television company (ORT), Ekho Moskvy reported on 7 June. The
law also would have prohibited ORT from broadcasting on Channel 1 and blocked
all state funding for the network. The Duma will now ask the Constitutional
Court to consider the legality of Yeltsin's November 1994 decree on the
restructuring of Ostankino TV and the creation of ORT, NTV reported. ORT took
over Channel 1 broadcasting from Ostankino on 1 April. * Laura Belin
OIL AND GAS INDUSTRIALISTS JOIN CHERNOMYRDIN BLOC. . .
Medvedev, president of the Union of Oil and Gas Industrialists, announced that
his union would join Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's bloc Our Home Is
Russia, Russian TV reported on 7 June. Medvedev said the union would advocate a
policy of "rational protectionism" for the energy sector, Russian Public
Television reported. Our Home Is Russia has already won the support of Russia's
largest oil producer Lukoil, as well as Gazprom, the gas monopoly Chernomyrdin
headed from 1989 to 1992. * Laura Belin
DUMA COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE NEFTEGORSK TRAGEDY.
The Duma decided on 7
June to set up a commission to investigate the tragedy in Neftegorsk, which was
flattened by an earthquake on 28 May, Interfax reported. Sergei Baburin, head
of the nationalist Russian Public Union, called for criminal proceedings
against those responsible for closing the seismological stations on Sakhalin
and refusing help from abroad, Russian TV reported. The Duma also resolved to
draft a law on support for Sakhalin Oblast and to ask the government to report
on the work of the interdepartmental commission on the clean-up operation,
headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets. There have been angry
exchanges between Soskovets and the Sakhalin authorities over the conduct of
the relief effort. As of 7 June, the quake death toll had risen to 1,743. *
MURMANSK POLICE ON HUNGER STRIKE.
The staff of a district criminal
investigation department in the Arctic city of Murmansk went on hunger strike
at midnight on 6 June to demand the payment of wage arrears, Interfax reported.
The action is thought to have been sparked by the suicide of a police officer,
who left a note saying he had no more money to live on. According to Interfax,
local police are owed 4 billion rubles in back pay. * Penny Morvant
RUSSIAN NUCLEAR SUB LAUNCHES GERMAN SPACE LAB.
A Russian Delta-IV class
strategic ballistic missile submarine launched an unmanned German space lab on
7 June, ITAR-TASS reported. The German equipment was in a capsule atop a
converted SS-N-18 ballistic missile. It was fired from the Barents Sea and the
capsule parachuted to earth on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East
after a 20-minute weightless flight. The launch--scheduled for 6 June--was
delayed "due to unfavorable weather conditions," according to Interfax on 6
June. However, Western agencies quoted the German Space Agency as saying the
launch had been delayed because an American START inspection team was in
Murmansk that day. * Doug Clarke
GRACHEV: EVENTUALLY ONLY THREE SERVICES.
Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev told the Military Council of the Ground Forces on 7 June that the
ministry had a "long-term" plan to reorganize the armed forces into just three
services: ground forces, navy, and air force. However, he said the present five
services would remain in place for the time being, Interfax reported. Those
include the above mentioned three services plus the strategic rocket forces and
the air-defense troops. * Doug Clarke
GROUND FORCES COMMANDER WORRIED.
Col. Gen. Vladimir Semenov, the
commander in chief of the Ground Forces, is "concerned" about his forces, his
spokesman told Interfax on 7 June. Semenov said units in several military
districts are manned at only 30-50% of their assigned strength. He also
complained that equipment is gradually becoming obsolete. He added that if the
situation is not improved, the ground forces aviation will "cease to [exist] by
2005" and electronic warfare units, communications, and artillery intelligence
units will have only "a limited military capacity." Semenov called for
improvement in the pre-draft preparation of conscripts and for better medical
screening. * Doug Clarke
KOZYREV: RUSSIA NOW SUPPORTS REINFORCEMENT OF UN PEACEKEEPERS.
his 7 June meeting with British Foreign Minister Douglas Hurd and Defense
Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev expressed
support for the proposed NATO "rapid response force" to back up UN peacekeepers
in Bosnia, Izvestiya reported on 8 June. Kozyrev said he had been
reassured that the additional force would be created and employed in a manner
consistent with the existing UNPROFOR mandate, under UN control. In response to
a direct question, Kozyrev did not rule out the possibility that Russia might
also contribute troops to such a force. * Scott Parrish
FUROR IN DUMA OVER POSSIBLE NATO ACTION IN BOSNIA.
On 7 June Russian
radio reported that several Duma deputies, including Konstantin Zatulin (DPR)
had condemned plans by NATO to send a "rapid response force" to reinforce UN
peacekeepers in Bosnia. The Duma passed a resolution asking its International
Affairs Committee to send a statement expressing the chamber's concern with the
Bosnia situation to President Yeltsin. Interfax reported that Vladimir
Zhirinovsky (LDP) denounced the NATO plan as a "dress rehearsal" for an
eventual attack to "destroy and dismember Russia." Zhirinovsky also told
journalists that the LDP would call for Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev's
resignation at the Duma's 9 June session. * Scott Parrish
WORLD BANK GRANTS SECOND LOAN TO RUSSIA.
The World Bank granted a second
loan worth $600 million to Russia to help finance imports, AFP reported on 7
June. The funds were granted under conditions contained in an agreement reached
with the IMF to assist Russia with economic reforms. The agreement calls for
freeing trade, abolishing quotas and export licenses, reducing tariffs, and
streamlining fuel export procedures. * Thomas Sigel
INITIAL HEARINGS ON 1996 BUDGET HELD.
The outline of the 1996 Russian
budget was presented to regional representatives at a conference in Krasnoyarsk
earlier in the week, Izvestiya reported on 7 June. First Deputy Prime
Minister Anatoly Chubais stressed that next year's budget will have a lower
proportion of foreign loans and subsidies than in 1995. Finance Minister
Vladimir Panskov presented the main indicators of the 1996 budget: spending 349
trillion rubles; revenue 273 trillion rubles; deficit 76 trillion rubles, or 4%
of GNP. (The 1995 deficit is forecast at 5% of GNP). The deficit will be
covered by issuing state securities (40 trillion rubles) and by loans from
international financial organizations (23 million rubles). * Thomas Sigel
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 111, 8 June 1995
GRAY WOLVES FUNNELING WEAPONS TO CHECHENS.
The Azeri ultranationalist
group Buz Gurd [Gray Wolf] is moving weapons and ammunition to Chechen rebels
from Turkey aboard fishing boats that travel via Iranian sea ports to
Azerbaijan, Interfax reported, citing unidentified sources in one of Russia's
power ministries. It was also alleged that the Azerbaijani Popular Front may be
involved in funneling weapons to the Chechen rebels. Buz Gurd is headed by
Iskander Hamidov, currently in prison, who served as interior minister in
Azerbaijan during the rule of Abulfaz Elchibey. In its ideology and
organization, Buz Gurd is believed to be closely tied to the Turkish
Nationalist Action Party, led by Alparslan Turkes. * Lowell Bezanis
TAJIKISTAN "ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRIES FOR REPORTERS."
Tajikistan is one of the most dangerous countries for reporters, according to
the international human rights organization Freedom House, Utro Rossii
reported in its 18-24 May edition. This comes after the recent arrest
of popular Tajik journalist Mirza Salimpur, who wrote for the outlawed paper
Charogi Ruz, now published outside Tajikistan. The Ministry of National
Safety is currently detaining Salimpur. According to the article, in the past
three years, 36 journalists have died and more than 30 newspapers and magazines
have been outlawed in the Central Asian republic. The former head of Tajik
government television and radio and several TV journalists have been in jail
for more than two years, according to Utro Rossii. * Bruce Pannier
YELTSIN-KUCHMA MEETING TO OPEN TOMORROW.
President Yeltsin and his
Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, will meet in Sochi on 9 June, Interfax
and Western agencies reported. The division of the Black Sea Fleet will be the
main issue on the agenda. Despite intensive preparations for the meeting,
Russian presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev said on 7 June that the meeting
would probably not "resolve any practical problems over the future of the Black
Sea Fleet." Should the fleet issue remain unresolved, it will likely further
delay the signing of the long-anticipated Russian-Ukrainian friendship treaty.
* Scott Parrish
FLEET IMPASSE HOLDS UP BOMBER DEAL.
A "well informed source in Moscow
military circles" told Interfax on 7 June that the deal in which Ukraine would
sell the 44 ex-Soviet strategic bombers to Russia still on its territory will
not be implemented until the problem of dividing the Black Sea Fleet is
resolved. Russian and Ukrainian negotiators agreed some months ago that the
bombers and their 600 air-launched cruise missiles would be turned over to the
Russian air force in return for a $190 million reduction in Ukraine's debt to
Russia. The bombers include 19 Tu-160 "Blackjack" bombers--the largest in the
world. Russia has only five of those aircraft. * Doug Clarke
CHERNYSHEV AND Aliyev STICK TO THEIR GUNS.
Neither Russian Deputy Foreign
Minister Albert Chernyshev nor Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev changed their
positions on the Caspian Sea during talks in Baku, Interfax reported on 7 June.
Earlier signs that Aliyev was moving closer towards Russian security and
regional interests were not confirmed in this case. Aliyev argued that
"Azerbaijan has more rights to explore [the Caspian oil] fields than any other
Caspian state," while Chernyshev reiterated Russia's position, that the
resources of the Caspian are common to all littoral states. * Lowell Bezanis
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 111, 8 June 1995
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT AND PRESIDENT REACH COMPROMISE ON POLITICAL REFORM
The Ukrainian legislature and President Leonid Kuchma on 7 June
reached a compromise over greater executive authority to implement political
and economic reforms, international and Ukrainian new agencies reported the
same day. Lawmakers voted 240 to 81 to approve a so-called constitutional
agreement allowing the law on separation of powers to take effect until Ukraine
adopts a new constitution. Kuchma told legislators that the treaty, to be
signed on 8 June, may prompt him to cancel the 28 June plebiscite on confidence
in himself and the assembly. Kuchma called the legally non-binding poll in an
effort to break the political deadlock over his political reform law. Kuchma
told the parliament that his drastic measure indicated that Ukraine was only
one step away from the kind of violent confrontation seen in Russia and other
CIS states as a result of similar standoffs. * Chrystyna Lapychak
CRIMEAN PRIVATIZATION CHIEF DEMANDS LIFTING OF KIEV'S MORATORIUM.
Oleksander Kotelnikov, chairman of the Crimean State Property Fund, has
demanded that Ukrainian authorities lift a moratorium on privatization in the
region and allow Crimean lawmakers to adopt a privatization program for the
peninsula, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 7 June. Kotelnikov told Crimean
deputies that the protracted dispute between Kiev and Simferopol over who has
jurisdiction over the region's property means Crimeans will get a much smaller
share of the privatization pie than Ukrainians from other regions. He said the
moratorium has prevented the Crimean authorities from adopting an economic
development program for the peninsula. * Chrystyna Lapychak
FORD TO OPEN ASSEMBLY PLANT IN BELARUS.
Representatives of the Ford
Corporation in Minsk met with President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 7 June to
finalize plans to set up an auto assembly plant in Belarus, Interfax reported
the same day. Lukashenka promised government support for the project, which
should be ready to assemble Fords from ready-made components within 15 to 20
months. The American executives said Ford chose Belarus for its geographical
location, cheap labor, and internal stability. They also pointed to the removal
of trade barriers with neighboring Russia, which, they said, will broaden the
market for their cars. Lukashenka inquired about the possibility of setting up
a joint venture to manufacture special cars for the country's 400,000
handicapped. He said Belarus needed about 1,500 such vehicles annually, while
Russia delivered only 25 to 30 a year. * Chrystyna Lapychak
ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS FINLAND.
Tiit Vahi, accompanied by
Foreign Minster Riivo Sinijarv, was in Helsinki on 7 June for a one-day visit,
BNS reported. Vahi held talks with President Matti Ahtisaari and Prime Minister
Paavo Lipponen. He also visited the energy concern IVO International, whose
subsidiary ESTIVO is cleaning up radioactive water at the former Soviet
submarine base at Paldiski, 35 kilometers west of Tallinn. Sinijarv and his
Finnish counterpart, Tarja Halonen, signed a treaty on cooperating to fight
crime. * Saulius Girnius
LATVIAN MILITARY PLANE CRASHES.
One of Latvia's two L-410 Turbolet
transport planes crashed at the Lielvarde airfield, 40 kilometers south of
Riga, on 7 June, BNS reported. The two pilots were killed in the crash, whose
cause has not yet been officially determined. Latvian Prime Minister and acting
Defense Minister Maris Gailis were scheduled to fly on the plane the following
day to Brussels for a meeting of defense ministers participating in NATO's
Partnership for Peace program. The L-410s were built in Czechoslovakia but
donated to Latvia by Germany. Latvia also has two AN-2 Colt aircraft and five
MI-2 helicopters. * Saulius Girnius
UZBEK PRESIDENT IN LITHUANIA.
Islam Karimov, at the start of his two-day
visit to Lithuania, met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Algirdas Brazauskas,
on 7 June, RFE/RL reported. The two presidents signed a declaration on
increasing cooperation. Foreign Ministers Abdulaziz Kamilov and Povilas Gylys
signed agreements on trade and economic cooperation, joint efforts to combat
customs violations, as well as cultural, educational, and scientific
cooperation. Karimov is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Adolfas
Slezevicius, Seimas Chairman Ceslovas Jursenas, and Lithuanian businessmen on 8
June. * Saulius Girnius
RUSSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST IN POLAND.
Sergei Kovalev who was
recommended by the Solidarity trade union and the Freedom Union party for the
Nobel Peace Prize, met with Polish President Lech Walesa on 7 June. Kovalev
praised Walesa's decision to refuse an invitation to attend VE Day
commemorations in Moscow last month. Meeting with the Freedom Union caucus,
Kovalev said: "We are children of European culture. We should fight together
with those who know better what is good for us," Gazeta Wyborcza
reported on 8 June. * Jakub Karpinski
FRENCH PHILOSOPHER HONORED BY CHECHENS IN WARSAW.
Andre Glucksman on 7 June was awarded the Knight of the Grand Cross of Honor by
Abdul Kadyrov, the European representative of Chechen President Dzhokhar
Dudaev. The opposition Confederation for an Independent Poland and the Chechen
Information Center in Cracow organized the award ceremony, which took place in
the Sejm. Glucksman said that Chechens were "martyrs who have suffered for all
of Europe and who, today, are the victims of a new form of red and black
fascism," Polish and international media reported. * Jakub Karpinski
CZECHS TO UNILATERALLY SCRAP PAYMENTS SYSTEM WITH SLOVAKIA.
government on 7 June decided to unilaterally abolish the clearing system that
has governed trade payments with Slovakia since the two countries split, Czech
media reported. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said he has received no reply to a
letter sent to his Slovak counterpart, Vladimir Meciar, in which Klaus proposed
abolishing the system. Slovak Finance Minister Sergej Kozlik, apparently
contradicting other officials' statements that Meciar has already written to
Klaus, told Sme that Meciar's reply was "hanging in the air." If the
parliament abrogates the necessary legislation at its June session, the system
will likely be scrapped on 1 October and all future trade will be conducted in
hard currency. Ending the system, under which the Czechs have run up monthly
deficits for more than a year, will be a further step toward making the Czech
koruna convertible and will remove one barrier to the Czech Republic's entry
into the OECD. * Steve Kettle
CZECH RAIL WORKERS DECLARE STRIKE ALERT.
The Czech Republic's 105,000
rail workers on 7 June threatened to call an all-out strike if their wage and
other demands are not met within eight days, Czech media reported. Rail unions,
claiming their members' wages have fallen behind other groups, have rejected
offers of modest increases as inadequate. They are also calling for the
resignations of all railroad heads, saying they are mismanaging the rail
network. The railroad general manager has already submitted his resignation but
is still in office. "We are ready to compromise on all points except raising
wages," union leader Jaroslav Dusek said. The management and the Transport
Ministry say that they do not have the funds to meet the workers' demands and
that any substantial pay increase will have to be accompanied by a reduction in
staff. * Steve Kettle
SLOVAK OPPOSITION ECONOMIST CRITICIZES PRIVATIZATION SCHEME.
Schmoegnerova, a leading member of the Democratic Left Party, has described the
Slovak government's voucher privatization plans as "another nail in the coffin
of the Slovak Republic," Slovak media reported. Under the government proposal,
the 3.5 million Slovak citizens who have already signed up for voucher
privatization will each receive government bonds worth up to 10,000 koruny with
five or six years maturity (See OMRI Daily Digest, 7 June 1995).
Schmoegnerova called the bond scheme a "populist move" that would only confuse
voucher holders. Distributing bonds rather than vouchers that are exchangeable
only for shares in companies is not equal to voucher privatization, she argued.
Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, speaking on Slovak Television on 6 June,
revealed yet another aspect of his government's new privatization strategy--the
ban on privatizing strategically important state enterprises. Meciar explained
that this would enable the government to acquire what he termed "golden shares"
in power, gas, weapons, and chemical facilities. * Jiri Pehe
HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION NOMINATES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.
parliamentary opposition parties--the Christian Democrats, the Hungarian
Democratic Forum, and the Young Democrats/Hungarian Civic Party--agreed on 7
June to field a joint presidential candidate to challenge the incumbent,
President Arpad Goncz, who has been nominated by the ruling Liberal-Socialist
coalition. Hungarian media reported that the opposition candidate is Ferenz
Madi, a university professor and education minister in the previous government.
His chances are considered slim because the ruling coalition has a two-thirds
parliamentary majority needed to elect the president. The vote is scheduled for
19 June. * Jiri Pehe
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 111, 8 June 1995
U.S. RESCUES PILOT DOWNED OVER BOSNIA.
International media reported on 8
June that Captain Scott F. O'Grady, who piloted the F-16 shot down by the Serbs
on 2 June, has been picked up near Bihac by "NATO search and rescue forces" and
taken to the USS Kearsarge in the Adriatic. A NATO spokesman added that
the mission took place once contact with O'Grady had been made. President Bill
Clinton said that "Captain O'Grady's bravery and skill are an inspiration. So
are the bravery and skill of those who took part in the operation to rescue
him. They are all American heroes." * Patrick Moore
SERBS TO FREE MORE HOSTAGES?
The Bosnian Serbs may soon free more of the
remaining 145 UN peacekeepers they are holding captive. The BBC on 8 June
quoted the independent Serbian news agency Beta as saying the operation is
being held up only because the men are scattered over a wide range of
territory. A Serbian lobbyist told the VOA that the Serbs took the hostages as
"the least hostile action" they could think of. Speculation is rife inside
former Yugoslavia and abroad as to what exactly prompted the Pale leadership to
take nearly 300 UN personnel captive in the wake of NATO air strikes and what
the role of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has been. * Patrick Moore
WILL THE RAPID RESPONSE FORCE BE TOOTHLESS?
British, French, UN, and
Russian diplomats have been talking at length about the mandate and command
structure of the proposed RRF, the BBC reported on 8 June. It appears that the
force will be simply an extension of UNPROFOR, restricted in its ability to
punish aggressors and subordinated to the UN's hesitant civilian command. The
UN head of peacekeeping operations, Kofi Annan, told AFP that "it will use
force as it is allowed under peacekeeping operations. It is not going to go
into a combat mode. It is not a fighting force.... We will have such presence
that at some local levels perhaps we will not be harassed as much." It is
difficult to see how such remarks can be reconciled with those of French
Foreign Minister Herve de Charette, who said: "We have decided to get out of
the morass in Bosnia. We have proved this from the military angle, and we have
the political will." * Patrick Moore
SERBS POUND SARAJEVO.
Bosnian Serbs on 7 June continued to blast
Sarajevo with heavy weapons, which are supposed to be banned from the area,
prompting a response from government forces. In Washington, the secretary of
defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff continued efforts by the
Clinton administration to distance itself from or qualify the president's
recent remarks to the effect that U.S. ground troops might be sent to Bosnia if
requested by NATO. Secretary of Defense William Perry told a Congressional
committee that he does "not believe that the Bosnian war poses a threat to U.S.
interests grave enough to risk the lives of thousands of our troops." * Patrick
GROWING TENSIONS WITHIN KRAJINA LEADERSHIP.
The Croatian Serb rebel
government on 6 June held a meeting in eastern Slavonia with nine out of 17
ministers present. Frictions are growing in the wake of the loss of western
Slavonia and in the face of Croatian military inroads near Knin. The main split
is between those around President Milan Martic, who favors a still vaguely
defined union with the Bosnian Serbs, and allies of Milosevic close to the
recently sacked prime minister, Borislav Mikelic. The latter argue that the
union would mean that sanctions against Pale would be imposed against Knin.
Former President Goran Hadzic, an enemy of Martic, threatened that
resource-rich eastern Slavonia will secede if the union goes ahead. * Patrick
U.S. ENVOY LEAVES FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.
U.S. envoy Robert Frasure has left
former Yugoslavia after failing to secure an agreement with Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic providing for the lifting of sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia in exchange for Belgrade's recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Nasa Borba reported on 8 June. The daily also noted that the U.S. envoy
appears to think that Milosevic has little influence over the Bosnian Serbs.
Nasa Borba also reported that former rump Yugoslav Premier Milan Panic
visited Belgrade on 7 June. * Stan Markotich
KOSOVAR PARLIAMENTARIANS AT FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY.
A delegation from
the Kosovar shadow-state parliament visited the French Foreign Ministry,
Kosova Daily Report said on 7 June. The Kosovar legislators warned of an
escalation of the situation in the region and stressed that the Kosovars have
been pursuing a policy of peaceful resistance in recent years. A French Foreign
Ministry representative expressed his admiration for that policy and said
France has been closely watching developments in former Yugoslavia. He added
that his country is aware of the complexity of the Kosovo crisis and supports
"an acceptable and just solution." * Fabian Schmidt
ROMANIAN UNIONS VOW TO CONTINUE PROTESTS.
Romania's three main labor
organizations --the National Confederation of Romania's Free Trade Unions-The
Brotherhood, the National Labor Bloc, and Alfa Cartel--told journalists on 7
June that they plan to hold a two-week protest beginning 14 June. They also
said they were not prepared to stay out of politics and will continue to demand
the cabinet's resignation. The planned rally will coincide with the fifth
anniversary of a 1990 anti-government protest that was brutally crushed by the
authorities. Opposition parties also plan rallies on that day, but the unions
said their protests are separate. President Ion Iliescu urged the three
organizations to suspend their protests and resume talks with the government.
He said union leaders were playing "a dangerous [political] game that
contradicted the unions' social mission." * Dan Ionescu
UNESCO HEAD IN ROMANIA.
Federico Mayor, director-general of UNESCO,
began an official visit to Romania on 6 June, Radio Bucharest reported. He was
received the same day by Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and the
next day by President Iliescu, Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, and Culture Minister
Viorel Marginean. Mayor pledged that his organization will continue to support
educational programs for Romania's youth as well as programs for the
preservation of its cultural heritage and natural environment, including a
series of ecological projects in the Danube Delta and Dobruja. * Dan Ionescu
MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT MEETS TIRASPOL LEADER.
Mircea Snegur on 7 June held
talks in Chisinau with a delegation from the breakaway Dniester region headed
by Igor Smirnov, Interfax and BASA-press reported. The meeting was opened by
Michael Wygant, head of the OSCE mission to Moldova, who read out an appeal for
reconciliation from OSCE acting chairman Laszlo Kovacs. Snegur, in a statement
released after the meeting, spoke of "constructive and productive"
negotiations. But most press reports said there was no breakthrough on the
future status of the Dniester region within the Republic of Moldova. The two
sides announced another round of talks for 5 July. * Dan Ionescu
MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS CONTROVERSIAL LAW ON RALLIES.
parliament on 7 June adopted a law on public demonstrations at its first
reading, Infotag and BASA-press report. The law says that rallies may be
prohibited if their aim is to slander the state and nation or subvert the
constitutional system. It also prohibits rallies near public buildings,
including hospitals, railway stations, and enterprises. The opposition voted
against the law, calling it an anti-democratic document. It vowed to bring the
issue to the attention of international organizations, including the Council of
Europe. * Dan Ionescu
ALBANIAN PRESIDENT MEETS ITALIAN NATIONAL ALLIANCE DEPUTIES.
Sali Berisha met with deputies from the Italian National Alliance, Rilindja
Demokratike reported on 7 June. Berisha told the Italian parliamentarians
that "relations and cooperation between the two countries have developed well
and brought good results." He also praised Italy for considering the
possibility to issue visas for Albanian seasonal workers. * Fabian Schmidt
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave
Copyright(c)1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights