OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 126, 29 June 1995
YELTSIN MEETS WITH POWER MINISTERS.
President Boris Yeltsin met with
Federal Border Guards' Service Director Andrei Nikolaev, Federal Security
Service director Sergei Stepashin, Internal Affairs Minister Viktor Yerin, and
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev individually on 28 June, Russian Public
Television reported. In each case, he discussed material gathered by the
Security Council examining the conditions that allowed Shamil Basaev to succeed
in his attack on Budennovsk. Russian TV reported that the Security Council is
unlikely to recommend the sacking of any ministers, but that Yeltsin will use
the conclusions of the meeting to make personnel decisions later. -- Robert
Orttung, OMRI, Inc.
GOVERNMENT, DUMA PREPARE FOR VOTE.
The Duma will take a second vote on
the issue of no confidence in the government first and only then consider the
government's demand to give it a positive vote of confidence, Speaker Ivan
Rybkin announced at the conclusion of two conciliatory commission meetings that
brought together all the Duma factions on 28 June, Ekho Moskvy reported. He
said the decision would allow the Duma to complete the constitutional process
it started with the first vote. He rejected the so-called "zero option,"
strongly supported by the official Rossiiskaya gazeta, in which the
government would withdraw its demand that the Duma give it a vote of confidence
if the Duma rejected a second no-confidence measure, NTV reported. The deputies
also said that no agreement has been struck with Yeltsin to support the
government if he fires the power ministers, as he claimed yesterday, Russian
Public Television reported. The factions' conciliatory commission will meet
again on 29 June to discuss the results of today's Security Council meeting. --
Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.
SECOND ROUND OF RUSSIAN-CHECHEN TALKS BEGIN.
After a three-day break,
Russian and Chechen negotiators resumed discussions in Grozny on 28 June,
Russian and international agencies reported. The current round of talks focuses
on political issues. Russian TV reported that negotiators spent the day
discussing a Russian proposal for the formation of an interim Chechen National
Council to govern the country until elections are held. After the talks ended
for the day, an OSCE mediator described the atmosphere as "good," while Russian
delegation head Vyacheslav Mikhailov characterized the day's discussions as
"difficult." Russian military spokesmen again claimed that the Chechens had
violated the current ceasefire in attacks on 27 June that killed two Russian
servicemen and wounded 12 others. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT SETS DATE FOR CHECHNYA CASE.
Court will consider a Federation Council appeal concerning the legality of
secret decrees on Chechnya beginning on 10 July, NTV reported on 28 June. The
secret decrees were issued by the president and government in November and
December 1994 to authorize the deployment of troops in Chechnya and the start
of the military campaign. In May, the court turned down the council's first
request to rule on the Chechnya decrees because of technical flaws in the
documents attached to the appeal. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.
KOVALEV REPORTED TO PUSH AMNESTY FOR BASAEV.
on 29 June attacked outspoken war critic Sergei Kovalev for seeking an amnesty
for all Chechen fighters, including Shamil Basaev. The newspaper reported that
in a 28 June speech, Kovalev and two other Duma deputies condemned Russian
special forces much more strongly than Basaev, whom they called "not so bad"
and a "remarkable personality." The author noted that Kovalev's speech and
amnesty petition were not well received, even by those who oppose the
government's military campaign in Chechnya. Komsomolskaya pravda has
generally given favorable coverage to Kovalev in the past. -- Laura Belin,
ONE MURDER COMMITTED IN MOSCOW EVERY FIVE HOURS.
One murder is committed
in the Moscow Oblast every five hours and one gang assault takes place every
six hours, the Moscow Oblast Police Department and Moscow Oblast Prosecutor's
Office revealed at a joint meeting on 28 June, according to Moskovsky
komsomolets on 29 June. The meeting addressed the crime problem and
acknowledged that the crime rate has risen beyond a "socially tolerable level."
-- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.
GRYZUNOV: RUSSIAN PRESS IN FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS NEEDS SUPPORT.
Press Committee Chairman Sergei Gryzunov said the government should allocate
more than 16 billion rubles ($3.6 million) to support Russian-language
publications in former Soviet republics, Russian TV reported on 28 June.
Currently the government only spends 3 billion rubles ($680,000) on such
subsidies. Committee members suggested that priority should be given to
Russian-language newspapers in areas where the ethnic Russian population is
most threatened, such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia. -- Laura Belin, OMRI,
YELTSIN ADDRESSES MILITARY ACADEMY GRADUATES.
On 28 June, President
Yeltsin outlined four "priority tasks" of Russian national security policy in a
speech to graduates of Russian military academies, Russian and international
agencies reported. These are: the restoration of constitutional order in
Chechnya, the formation of a CIS collective security system, the development of
a new European security system, and the strengthening of Russian ties with the
Asia-Pacific region. While expressing willingness to "deepen cooperation" with
NATO, Yeltsin reiterated Russian objections to any expansion of the alliance.
He said NATO should transform itself from a "Western military bloc" into a
component of an all-European security order. The Russian president also
announced that the stabilization of the Russian economy has rendered further
cuts in the military budget unnecessary, and he promised that military
expenditures for 1996 would be held at the 1995 level. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI,
BANKING SECTOR NON-PAYMENTS OVERDUE.
The volume of non-payments in the
banking sector totals 158 trillion rubles ($359 million), Russian Bank
Association President Vyacheslav Zakharov said, according to Rossiiskaya
gazeta on 29 June. Of that total, 35 trillion rubles ($79.54 million) is
owed by enterprises to banks for overdue loan payments. The rest of the money
is made up of interbank debts. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.
CENTRAL BANK TELEGRAM STIRS TALK OF MONEY REFORM.
Russian Central Bank
managers moved to "maximally reduce cash in circulation" after they received a
confidential telegram signed by the bank's first deputy chairman, Arnold
Voylukov on 27 June, Segodnya reported the next day. The telegram
ordered cash balances and settlement and clearing ledgers to be reduced to a
minimum by 30 June. It also instructed the bank to fully transfer bank notes
from circulation cash departments to reserve funds. The telegram, which was
leaked, stirred talk of a money reform of cash circulation, although a law on
the Central Bank explicitly forbids cash circulation confiscation measures.
More likely, the telegram was a directive to the Central bank to continue
tightening cash discipline for banks and enterprises. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI,
MELIKIAN URGES WAGE HIKE.
A wage hike is needed to counter the
continuing decline in Russian living standards, even if it means overburdening
the country's lean budget, Russian Labor Minister Gennady Melikian said on 28
June, ITAR-TASS reported. The minister said the government must raise minimum
wages and pensions by this autumn to stem the decline. Real incomes have fallen
by 20% since September 1994, despite a steady rise in inflation-adjusted
incomes. A 113% minimum wage hike on 1 April to 43,700 rubles (about $10) a
month had little effect, Melikian said. The Labor Ministry proposes to raise
the minimum wage to a maximum of 65,000 rubles a month by early autumn, a
costly step for the federal and local budgets. Very few workers are actually
paid at minimum wage. Instead, the figure is used as a multiplier to calculate
wages and benefits throughout the state sector. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 126, 29 June 1995
TAJIKS ARREST RUSSIAN OFFICER IN CONNECTION WITH TERRORISM.
Interior Ministry has taken Lt. Col. Sharip Shapirov into custody in connection
with the murders of 12 Russian and Tajik government soldiers and other
subversive acts, Western soruces and Ekho Moskvy reported. Shapirov was
arrested along with eight other suspects in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.
Besides the charges of murder, Shapirov is suspected of using military cargo
planes to smuggle rebels and drugs from Afghanistan. Police allege the Russian
officer was receiving orders from Islamic opposition leaders. Shapirov serves
in the 201st army division, currently stationed on the Tajik-Afghan border. --
Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.
NEW UZBEK SECURITY CHIEF.
Maj. Gen. Rustam Inoyatov, 50, was appointed
head of Uzbekistan's national security service on 28 June, Russian and Western
agencies reported. He replaced Gulyam Alieyev, who will be appointed to an
as-yet unspecified post. Uzbek authorities have not given a reason for the
personnel change. Inoyatov reportedly rose to become Alieyev's first deputy
after having begun his career as a rank-and-file KGB agent. Tashkent was said
to be the KGB's regional center in Central Asia during the Soviet period; since
independence, outlawed opposition groups and international human rights
organizations have accused its successor of being very intolerant of any
activities against the present regime. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.
UPDATE ON ARMENIAN ECONOMY.
After experiencing the sharpest economic
decline of any of the former Soviet republics, Armenia was the first to record
economic growth--5%--in 1994. Annual inflation ran at 50% last year, but the
government forecasts it to fall to a monthly rate of 1% by August and hopes for
an economic growth rate of 7.5% next year, Reuters reported on 29 June. The
dram has also stabilized. Armenian Economy Minister Armen Yegiazaryan told the
agency "we have passed the most difficult times." He argued that the gradual
turnaround in the economy stems from the government's tight fiscal policy,
price liberalization, and support from international financial organizations.
The republic's currency reserves are $64 million, according to Noyan
Tapan on 28 June. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.
ACCORD SIGNED IN ASHGABAT.
Following two days of talks beginning on 25
June, the foreign ministers of Turkmenistan, Armenia, and Iran signed several
accords in Ashgabat, Noyan Tapan reported on 28 June. A package of
documents, including agreements on the mutual exchange of goods and services
and the establishment of trilateral joint enterprises and a transport company
were signed. Armenia and Turkmenistan also signed a protocol on cooperation in
the field of energy. The next round of talks between the three sides is
scheduled for the second half of August. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.
MUD SLIDES IN KYRGYZSTAN CAUSE SEVEN DEATHS.
Heavy rains in southern
Kyrgyzstan have caused mud slides, killing four people in the Jalalabad region
and three in the Osh region on 27 June, according to Reuters. Hundreds of
houses have been damaged. The Central Asian republic is more than 90%
mountainous and the people have traditionally herded sheep, which provide food
and material for clothing. However, overgrazing has left much of the area
susceptible to mud slides in the rainy season. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.
STATUE OF LENIN DECAPITATED IN SEMIPALATINSK.
The largest statue of
Vladimir Lenin in the former Soviet Union had its head removed in the northern
Kazakhstan city of Semipalatinsk on 27 June, Segodnya reported. The
removal of the head is the first step in the total dismantling of the statue
ordered by Semipalatinsk Mayor Galymzhan Zhakiyanov. Zhakiyanov had ordered the
removal of all monuments to former Soviet leaders to "get rid of the last
vestiges of the communist ideology, which caused numerous deaths." Kazakhstan
lost millions of people during the famine and purges of the 1930s. The
59-foot-high, 176-ton statue will be moved to a park for historical monuments
on the bank of the Irtysh River, Reuters reported. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI,
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 126, 29 June 1995
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
MORE ON THE AFTERMATH OF CRIMEAN VIOLENCE.
Law enforcement officials
told the Crimean Parliament on 28 June that weekend clashes between Crimean
Tatars and alleged organized crime groups in several towns occurred
spontaneously, Radio Ukraine reported the same day. They said they are working
to restore law and order in the region's bazaars and markets and plan to hire
up to 60 new police inspectors for communities populated mainly by Tatars. They
also said that on 25 June two suspects were arrested in the killings of two
Tatar merchants on 23 June, which Tatar leaders assert were prompted by the
merchants' refusal to pay protection money to local gangs. In Kiev, Yurii
Karmazyn, head of the Ukrainian legislature's temporary commission on Crimea,
said Ukraine should step up its effort to obtain funds from Russia, Uzbekistan
and Kazakhstan to repatriate Tatars from their countries to Crimea. In 1944,
Stalin ordered the deportation of some 180,000 Tatars from Crimea to other
parts of the USSR. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.
UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC NEWS.
President Leonid Kuchma issued a decree on 28
June to ensure enforcement of the privatization program for 1995, Radio Ukraine
reported the same day. The decree will allow foreigners to participate in
privatization of enterprises on equal terms with Ukrainian citizens. The same
day, lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill enabling the creation of
so-called financial-industrial groups, which would unite Russian and other CIS
capital with Ukrainian industry in an effort to save ailing enterprises. The
Russian weekly Delovoi Vtornik reported on 27 June that the Ukrainian
government plans to use $10 million of a $1.9 billion IMF loan awarded it this
year to build six candle factories. The country's electrical power crisis and
power outages have forced many Ukrainians, particularly in rural areas, to burn
candles more frequently. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.
RUSSIA COMPLETES MARKING BORDER WITH ESTONIA.
workers reported on 28 June that they completed marking the border with Estonia
the previous day by placing buoys on Lake Narva, BNS reported. As with the land
border in 1994, Russia marked it unilaterally, ignoring Estonia's claims that
the border should be based on the Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920. Russian Deputy
Foreign Minister Sergei Krylov told his Estonian counterpart Raul Malk on 26
June that Moscow would stand by its decision not to recognize the Tartu Treaty
and a border agreement could be signed only when Estonia follows suit. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.
LITHUANIA LEGALIZES FREE ECONOMIC ZONES.
The Seimas, by a vote of 50 to
27 with 9 abstentions, passed a Law on Free Economic Zones (FEZ) on 28 June,
BNS reported. The law provides privileges on land, value added, and profit
taxes in the FEZ, but bans any economic-commercial activities related to state
security and defense, the production of weapons, hazardous and narcotic
substances, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco as well as establishing or running
gambling houses. The former Soviet military airport at Zokniai near Siauliai
and the port of Klaipeda have already done most of the preparatory work for
setting up FEZs in their territories. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.
BELARUSIAN MILITARY REFORMS.
Acting Defense Minister Leanid Maltsau said
that the total number of people in the armed forces currently stands at
153,840, of which 90,400 are troops, Belarusian radio reported on 27 June.
After reductions, the total number should be no more than 60,000 servicemen and
18,000 technical workers. Meanwhile, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka appointed
Maj. Gen. Valeryi Frantsavich as the first deputy commander of the Main Staff
of the Armed Forces; Col. Yuryi Syamenchanka was named chief-of-staff and
deputy commander of the 28th army corp; and Maj. Gen. Viktar Osipau was
appointed first deputy head of the military academy of Belarus. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.
POLISH PARLIAMENT ON DEFENSE.
On 29 June the Sejm adopted its own draft
of a controversial law on defense with 321 votes for, 26 against, and 19
abstentions. The Sejm's draft makes the chief of staff responsible to the
civilian defense minister, a presidential draft had made him responsible to the
president "in matters of command." According to Henryk Goryszewski, the chief
of the National Security Office, a presidential veto is likely after the vote
on the draft, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 29 June. -- Jakub Karpinski,
POLISH PUBLIC OPINION ON FOREIGN POLICY.
According to a Demoskop public
opinion poll taken in mid-June, 75% of Poles would support Poland's entry to
NATO and the European Union if a referendum on the issue were held; 57% think
that Poland is secure in its frontiers but 33% believe a threat from "some
country" is coming. Among the respondents perceiving such a threat, 80%
mentioned Russia as the source and 11% Germany, Gazeta Wyborcza reports
on 29 June. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.
DUTCH-SWISS GROUP WINS CZECH TELECOM CONTEST . . .
The Czech government
on 28 June chose TelSource as the winner of a five-way contest to take a 27%
stake in the national phone company SPT Telecom. Economy Minister Karel Dyba
told a news conference TelSource will pay $1.32 billion for the stake and
provide a further 131 million dollars worth of services and know-how. The deal,
the biggest partial privatization project in the Czech Republic, is intended to
double the phone network by the year 2000 to around 40 lines per 100
inhabitants and reduce the waiting time for a line from 3 years to 14 days. PTT
Telecom Netherlands owns 51% of TelSource and Swiss Telecom the remainder,
while AT&T is providing technical support. Unsuccessful bidders included
STET of Italy, TeleDanmark and consortia involving American, German and French
firms. 26% of SPT Telecom was sold to Czech investors in the second wave of
coupon privatization; the government will retain the balance. -- Steve Kettle,
. . . WHILE TOTAL PULLS OUT OF REFINERIES DEAL.
The French company Total
withdrew from an international consortium negotiating a 49% stake in the Czech
Republic's two oil refineries just three days before a deal was due to be
finalized. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said on 28 June the pullout came as a
surprise to both the Czech government and the other companies in the
International Oil Consortium (IOC) -- Conoco, Shell and Agip. Trade and
Industry Minister Vladimir Dlouhy told Czech Television the remaining three IOC
companies have agreed to make up Total's stake and should confirm their
intention to continue with the deal, which could be worth more than $500
million, by the original deadline of 30 June. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.
SLOVAK MEDIA DEVELOPMENTS.
An opinion poll carried out in April and May
by AISA SLOVENSKO and GfK-SLOVAKIA showed that the tabloid-style Novy
Cas continues to be the most popular daily in Slovakia, with 27%
readership. Leftist daily Pravda was next with 13%, followed by
Sport with 9%, Praca with 8%, Sme and Slovenska
Republika each with 6%, Uj szo with 5% and Narodna obroda
with 4%. Only Sme and Uj szo saw their readership grow since
a fall 1994 poll. STV 1 continued to be the most watched television station,
with 64.2%, while the Czech private station NOVA reached 16.8%, Sme
reports on 29 June. In other news, according to a Pravda report on 29
June, the dailies Sme and Smena have signed a licensing
agreement, according to which the two papers will be gradually reunited.
Sme emerged from Smena in January 1993 following government
intervention to replace top staff members. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.
MECIAR RESPONDS TO KLAUS.
In an interview with TASR on 28 June, Slovak
Premier Vladimir Meciar responded to Czech media reports that he refused a
meeting with his Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus the previous day during the EU
summit in Cannes. Meciar said he received an offer for a meeting with Klaus
just as he was going for a bath. At the time when the meeting was supposed to
take place, Meciar already had talks planned with another delegation, he
claimed. He also noted that the offer for a meeting was "not at all serious,
since such a meeting is prepared through diplomatic channels." Meciar also
complained that Klaus did not accept his proposals for changes in the bilateral
clearing agreement. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.
UPDATE ON SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN RELATIONS.
According to an opinion poll taken
by the Slovak Statistical Office in early May, a majority of Slovaks approve
the signing of the Slovak-Hungarian basic treaty in March, Narodna obroda
reports on 29 June. A total of 26% of respondents fully approved, 29%
somewhat approved, 4% somewhat disapproved, 4% fully disapproved, 24% were not
interested and 13% were undecided. Although the Hungarian parliament recently
ratified the treaty, the Slovak parliament has yet to begin discussion on it.
In other news, on 28 June a delegation of Hungarian parliamentary deputies
ended a four-day visit to Slovakia. Visiting the district of Dunajska Streda,
which is predominantly ethnic Hungarian, discussion focused on government plans
to implement "alternative" (bilingual) education, which ethnic Hungarians fear
will lead to assimilation and threaten jobs of teachers at Hungarian schools
who cannot speak Slovak well. In a press conference on 28 June, Hungarian
Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Bela Bugar said the Hungarian coalition
will press for the removal of Education Minister Eva Slavkovska. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.
HUNGARY TO GET RUSSIAN MILITARY ITEMS FOR DEBT.
Russia will provide
Hungary with armored vehicles and jet fighter parts as partial repayment for
its remaining debt, CET and Reuters reported on 28 June. The reports said the
new agreement did not specify the exact amount involved. The two sides were
said to still be at odds over the exact valuation of the Russian military
equipment that will be provided. Under a deal reached last year, Russia agreed
to use goods and stakes in companies it is privatizing to repay Hungary a $900
million debt from the communist era. The reports said a Hungarian delegation
will visit Moscow in July to settle details of the new agreement. -- Doug
Clarke, OMRI, Inc.
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 126, 29 June 1995
BOSNIA FIGHTING CONTINUES.
Nasa Borba reports on 29 June that on
the previous day Bosnian government forces launched three separate attacks on
the approaches to the capital Sarajevo. Bosnian Serb forces retaliated in part
with renewed shelling of the city. One of the targets of the 28 June attacks on
the capital was the media facility of Radio and Television Sarajevo.
Vjesnik reports that at least four people were killed and 38, including
foreign journalists, injured as a rocket exploded after slamming into the
building, gutting the complex. At least three other civilians were killed in
Sarajevo as other parts of the city also came under shelling. For at least the
12th consecutive day Sarajevo civilians have been casualties of the unrelenting
crisis. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.
NATO ENDORSES PULL-OUT PLAN.
NATO on 28 June endorsed a plan, known as
Operation 40104, for withdrawing peacekeeping operations from the former
Yugoslavia in case the peacekeeping mission collapses. The International Herald
Tribune on 29 June quotes one NATO official as emphasizing that withdrawal is
"only a last resort. . . . [and NATO] strongly supports the continued presence
of UN forces." If the plan were invoked, however, up to 60, 000 troops,
including some 25, 000 US soldiers, would be dispatched to the former
Yugoslavia to oversee the withdrawal of peacekeeping forces. -- Stan Markotich,
FERAL TRIBUNE BURNED IN PUBLIC.
Thugs publicly burned copies of the
satirical independent weekly Feral Tribune in the center of Split on
26-27 June. The action on the 27th also involved stealing large quantities of
the paper from kiosks. Journalists and television crews were present, but the
police were not to be seen. Novi list on 28 June quotes the editors of
Feral as suggesting that the ruling party may have been behind the incident.
The opposition Social Democratic Action, Dalmatian Action, and Istrian
Democratic Party have condemned the attacks. The editors of the weekly fear
that physical violence may now be used against them. -- Patrick Moore, in
Krk, Croatia., OMRI, Inc.
ROMANIAN PREMIER ENDS MIDDLE EAST TOUR.
Nicolae Vacaroiu on 28 June
ended a four-day visit to Jordan and Lebanon, Radio Bucharest reported.
Vacaroiu, who headed a governmental delegation, discussed in Amman with King
Hussein, Premier Zeid bin Shaker, and other Jordanian officials ways to enlarge
economic cooperation and the Middle East peace process. Romania and Jordan
signed agreements on trade and health cooperation. In Beirut, Vacaroiu held
talks with his Lebanese counterpart Rafiq al-Hariri on boosting bilateral
political and economic ties. The two countries signed five agreements,
including one preventing double taxation. In a statement released on returning
to Bucharest, Vacaroiu described the outcome of the tour as "positive." -- Dan
Ionescu and Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.
ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN GERMANY.
Gheorghe Tinca on 27 June began an
official visit to Germany, Romanian media report. On 28 June, Tinca discussed
with his German counterpart Volker Ruehe prospects for bilateral military
cooperation as well as Romania's cooperation with NATO. The two sides agreed
that a German military unit will participate in a training program in Romania
in mid-September as part of NATO's Partnership for Peace program. Tinca's
agenda also includes visits to military units and German firms specializing in
military equipment. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Moldovan
President Mircea Snegur on 28 June discussed bilateral relations in Moscow,
western media reported. The talks focused on the situation in the Dniester
region and the planned withdrawal of Russian troops from eastern Moldova.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Snegur said that Russia offered to
mediate a settlement of the Dniester conflict. The two presidents stressed the
need to speed up negotiations between Chisinau and Tiraspol aimed at granting a
special autonomous status to the breakaway Dniester region, while preserving
Moldova's territorial integrity. Snegur told Yeltsin that his country was not
prepared to accept military bases on its territory, since this contravened the
Moldovan constitution. He further insisted that Russia honors the agreement
initialed in October 1994 on the withdrawal of the 14th Russian Army from
eastern Moldova over a three-year period. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.
BULGARIAN BUSINESS BLOC SPLITS.
Six of the 12 deputies of the Bulgarian
Business Bloc (BBB) left the party on 28 June, Demokratsiya reported the
following day. They are expected to leave the BBB caucus on 29 June and declare
themselves independent, together with another faction member who does not
belong to the party. The deputies left the BBB after a fight with party leader
Georges Ganchev over who should become vice-president of the parliament.
Ganchev tried to secure the support of the Bulgarian Socialist Party for his
candidate, Hristo Stoyanov, which the six were not willing to accept. As one
BBB deputy declared himself independent earlier this year, the caucus will be
reduced to five members from the original 13. Ganchev himself had to leave the
parliament in April after his election was declared invalid by the
Constitutional Court. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
GREEK PREMIER ATTACKS EU PARTNERS.
On his return from the EU summit in
Cannes, Andreas Papandreou on 28 June fiercely attacked other EU members for
staging what he called an "orchestrated campaign" against his country and asked
his compatriots to form a "sacred union" to fight it, AFP reported the same
day. Papandreou had been isolated at the summit on two central issues of Greek
foreign policy, Macedonia and Turkey. He said he had "seen the work of the
directorate of the European Union," and that decisions are being taken by a
"triumvirate of the great powers." The Greek premier attacked French President
Jacques Chirac for his position on Macedonia (see OMRI Daily Digest, 28 June
1995), saying it is a "provocation for Greece and myself personally."
Papandreou made it clear that Greece will not leave the EU, from which it will
have received a total of $45 billion by the year 2000. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER TO VISIT ALBANIA.
Gerasimos Arsenis will visit
Albania in early July to hold talks with his counterpart Safet Zhulali,
President Sali Berisha, the head of the Albanian Orthodox Church Anastasios,
and high-ranking army officials, AFP reported on 28 June. Arsenis will be the
first Greek defense minister to visit Albania in 50 years. Albanian diplomatic
sources were cited as saying that the visit is designed to strengthen
cooperation between the two countries in the framework of NATO's Partnership
for Peace program. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
MACEDONIA TO LEGALIZE PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOLS.
Education Minister Emilija
Simoska on 27 June announced that a new draft law on middle and higher
education will allow private high schools to be opened, MIC reported the
following day. Foreign legal entities will be allowed to open high schools at
which the classes will be conducted in one of the world languages. Classes at
the university will still be held in Macedonian, but classes at the pedagogical
faculties can be conducted in the languages of the nationalities, such as
Albanian or Turkish. Nova Makedonija reported that tuition in one of the
minority languages in middle schools will also be possible. -- Stefan Krause,
[As of 12:00 CET]
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Steve Kettle