OMRI DAILY DIGEST
VOL. 1, NO. 156, 11 AUGUST 1995
YELTSIN PROPOSES NEW BALKAN PEACE INITIATIVE.
After meeting with Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic on 10 August, President Boris Yeltsin proposed
that an international conference be convened on the conflict in the former
Yugoslavia, Russian and Western agencies reported. In a statement read to
journalists, Yeltsin said recent Croatian actions in Krajina had brought the
region to "the brink of a major war" and expressed regret that Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman, under "pressure" from other states, had declined to
come to Moscow for talks. In contrast, Yeltsin praised Milosevic's commitment
to a negotiated settlement of the conflict and said that UN sanctions against
rump Yugoslavia had become a major obstacle to its achievement. He added that
Russia would press for the lifting of the sanctions, adding that any delay in
addressing the issue might lead Russia to take "unilateral steps." Yeltsin also
renewed his bid to mediate an overall settlement to the conflict, inviting
Milosevic, Tudjman, and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic to Moscow for a
meeting to lay the groundwork for a later international conference. * Scott
RYBKIN MEETS WITH MILOSEVIC.
During his 10 August visit to Moscow,
Serbian President Milosevic also met with Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin, Russian and
Western agencies reported. Rybkin echoed President Yeltsin's comments that UN
sanctions against rump Yugoslavia should be lifted and told Interfax that if an
appropriate international decision is not taken soon, the Duma is prepared to
pass a law calling on Russia to unilaterally ignore the sanctions. Rybkin added
that all factions and parties in the Duma supported his earlier statements
condemning Croatian actions in Krajina and said he expected Russian policy
toward the Yugoslav conflict to be discussed at the special session of the Duma
scheduled for 12 August. * Scott Parrish
GROZNY TALKS STALEMATED.
Negotiations in Grozny again made no tangible
progress on 10 August, Russian and Western agencies reported. Chechen
negotiators briefly walked out of the political talks in the morning after
claiming that they had been denied entry into the city by Russian troops at a
checkpoint. After the Russian delegation issued an apology, discussions
continued. The long-delayed prisoner exchange, which should have been carried
out on 7 August under the terms of the Russian-Chechen military agreement, was
postponed again on 9 August, as disagreement persisted over the number of
prisoners each side is holding. That evening, however, in a move perhaps
designed to accelerate the implementation of the military accord, NTV reported
that the commander of federal forces in Chechnya, Anatolii Romanov, had ordered
federal troops to unilaterally withdraw from towns and villages in Chechnya.
The overall situation remained tense though, with other Russian military
officers complaining that pro-Dudaev fighters were descending from the Chechen
mountains and reasserting "control" over towns on the plains, ITAR-TASS
reported. In sporadic fighting overnight, 10 federal servicemen were wounded. *
KULIKOV RESHUFFLES MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS.
Two top generals in the
Ministry of Internal Affairs have tendered their resignations, Moskovskii
komsomolets reported on 10 August. Col. Gen. Mikhail Yegorov, the first
deputy minister who headed the fight against organized crime, and Col. Gen.
Yevgenii Abramov, the first deputy minister who was responsible for the
ministry's internal structure, are reportedly leaving. Reports also said that
Deputy Minister Vladimir Strashko, who supervises the ministry's logistics and
financial affairs, has been asked to resign as well. The ministry's press
center, however, pointed out that the resignations must be accepted by
President Yeltsin and that it has not received word from his office yet, Radio
Mayak reported on 10 August. After Internal Affairs Minister Anatolii Kulikov
appointed a new head of the local interior ministry in Stavropol from among the
internal troops, observers complained that the appointee would not be prepared
for the difficulties of battling the mafia. * Robert Orttung
RADICAL COMMUNISTS FORM ELECTORAL BLOC.
The extreme Russian Communist
Workers' Party (RKRP) and the Russian Party of Communists (RPK) have signed an
agreement to form an electoral bloc without the largest of Russia's Communist
parties, Gennadii Zyuganov's Communist Party of the Russian Federation,
ITAR-TASS reported 10 August. Anatolii Kryuchkov, leader of the RPK, complained
that Zyuganov had set the requirements for alliance with his party too high,
but said he is hoping for future negotiations. Zyuganov's Communists are
unlikely to seek stronger ties with the radicals since they would gain few
votes while alienating some of their more moderate supporters. * Robert
TRETYAKOV MAY QUIT NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA.
editor-in-chief of Nezavisimaya gazeta since its creation in 1990, may
quit if he cannot lead the newspaper out of its financial crisis soon, Interfax
reported on 10 August. On 30 July, Tretyakov announced that the paper would
soon resume publication, which was suspended on 24 May. However, Tretyakov told
Interfax that closing the paper may be the solution to the crisis. Meanwhile,
the newspaper Novaya yezhednevnaya gazeta, which closed due to financial
problems in February, resumed publication as a weekly on 10 August,
Obshchaya gazeta reported. * Laura Belin
CONFLICT BETWEEN PRIMORSK GOVERNOR AND RUSSIA'S DEMOCRATIC CHOICE.
Representatives of Yegor Gaidar's Russia's Democratic Choice in Primorskii Krai
announced plans to sue regional Governor Yevgenii Nazdratenko for accusing the
party of instigating the July arrest of Primorsk tax police chief Aleksandr
Bondarenko, Segodnya reported on 10 August. Bondarenko is accused of
helping fabricate corruption charges against former Vladivostok Mayor Viktor
Cherepkov in March 1994 (see OMRI Daily Digest, 25 July 1995).
Nazdratenko recently claimed that Russia's Democratic Choice arranged the
arrest out of revenge, after Bondarenko exposed alleged tax evasion by a
prominent local supporter of the party. * Laura Belin
DETAINED U.S. OFFICER TO LEAVE RUSSIA.
U.S. Army Cpt. Jason Lynch, an
instructor at the Military Academy at West Point who was briefly detained by
Russian security agents while working near the nuclear center of
Krasnoyarsk-26, will be leaving Russia voluntarily on 11 August, a U.S. Embassy
spokesman told ITAR-TASS on 10 August. The agency had previously reported that
Lynch would be expelled for conducting "unauthorized geodesic work" near the
sensitive Siberian facility. He had been invited to Russia by the Siberian
branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences to work on a joint Russo-American
environmental project. The embassy spokesman said he is leaving after having
finished his part in the joint expedition. * Doug Clarke
RUSSIA DENIES SENDING ARMS TO AFGHANISTAN.
Russian Foreign Ministry
spokesman Mikhail Demurin denied that Russia is exporting arms to the Afghan
government, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 August. Earlier reports said a
Russian-made Il-76, loaded with ammunition for the Kabul government had been
forced to land in the Afghan city of Kandahar on 3 August by anti-government
rebels, who were holding its Russian crew hostage. Demurin confirmed that the
plane was owned by a Russian firm based in the Tatar capital of Kazan but said
that the ammunition had been legally purchased in Albania and that the Russian
government had no connection to the shipment. Russia is pressing for the crew's
release, noted Demurin, adding that Russia does not "interfere in the civil
war" in Afghanistan and supports a negotiated settlement to the conflict. *
THREE-MONTH INTER-BANK CREDIT RATES STABLE FOR TWO WEEKS.
on three-month inter-bank credits (IBCs) have remained unchanged for the past
two weeks in 52 of Russia's 60 regions, the Financial Information Agency
reported on 10 August. Creditor banks now offer three-month IBCs to commercial
banks at an annual interest rate of 100-200%, and to the Sberbank (Savings
Bank) regional offices at 65-100%. Rates are lower at savings banks because
they are considered to be a more reliable holder of people's savings. The
relative stability of interest rates on IBCs is due to the summer lull in
business activity, the report noted. Experts do not expect rates to fall
because inflation expectations remain rather strong. The high profitability of
short-term government bonds (STBs) is another factor that affects IBCs. The
annual yields of STBs are now above 150% which increases the price of credits
on the inter-bank markets. * Thomas Sigel
WESTERN-STYLE FINANCIAL CENTER OPENS IN MOSCOW.
The Soyuznik insurance
company and the Stolichnii Savings Bank, one of Russia's major banks, opened a
financial center in Moscow, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 August. The first of its
kind in Russia, the center will offer clients banking, insurance, and travel
services. The Stolichnii Savings Bank has been involved in joint projects with
Soyuznik for more than a year. Several thousand insurance certificates have
been sold through Stolichnii's affiliate banks, mainly for holders of
international and Russian plastic cards issued by Stolichnii. In the new
financial center, Soyuznik will offer insurance services that include life,
health, medical, accident, travel, and property. The Stolichnii Savings Bank
and the U.S. American Fidelity International Holdings are among Soyuznik's
shareholders. * Thomas Sigel
PROTOCOL SIGNED WITH WORLD BANK.
The World Bank and the Russian State
Standards Committee signed a protocol on 10 August that sets the stage for
bringing Russian standards in line with international trade requirements, the
Financial Information Agency reported the same day. The head adviser at the
World Bank's Moscow office, Hasso Molineus, told the agency that the project
provided for extending to Russia a credit of $24 million under which the State
Standard Committee would receive the necessary equipment for "increasing the
committee's [ability] to certify Russian products meant for export and products
imported by Russia." The World Bank will grant Russia the credit for 17 years
with a five-year deferment. The initial interest rate was set at 7.02% but will
be adjusted every six months depending on the current exchange rate. * Thomas
INKOMBANK LEAVES CONSORTIUM THAT IS TO PROVIDE CABINET WITH CREDITS.
Moscow's Inkombank, one of Russia's five top banks, announced on 10 August that
it is leaving the consortium of 10 banks that is to grant credits to the
Russian cabinet under guarantees in the form of state-owned blocks of shares in
privatized enterprises, the Financial Information Agency reported the same day.
According to the report, Inkombank withdrew from the group because of a lack of
clarity on the distribution of shares among the consortium's members and the
deteriorating situation on the credit-financial market, which limits credit
reserves. * Thomas Sigel
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
VOL. 1, NO. 156, 11 AUGUST 1995
KAZAKHSTAN DENIES SALE OF URANIUM TO LIBYA.
Kazakhstan was quick to
refute an 8 August report from the Libyan news agency "Jana" that it planned to
sell enriched uranium to Libya. The head of Kazakhstan's Atomic Energy Agency,
Ergali Bayadilov, told Reuters "Kazakhstan has not been approached by Libya,
and we are not prepared to sell nuclear fuel to Libya"; he said Kazakhstan
would abide by its obligations as a signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation
treaty. * Bruce Pannier
OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT: TAJIK OPPOSITION IN TASHKENT.
The Tajik opposition
delegation has held talks in Tashkent with Uzbek Foreign Ministry officials.
According to an 8 August report on the Voice of Free Tajikistan monitored by
the BBC, the Tajik opposition delegation was headed by the deputy chairman of
the Islamic Rebirth Party, Akbar Turadzhonzoda and took place on 5-6 August.
Otakhon Latifi, chairman of the Moscow-based Coordinating Center of Democratic
Forces of Tajikistan, said the visit was completed "successfully," according to
the radio. Additional information on the talks has not been made available. *
CENTRAL ASIAN UNITS IN LOUISIANA.
Central Asian military units are
participating in military exercises in the state of Louisiana under NATO's
Partnership for Peace program, Russian Public TV reported on 9 August. The
exercises, which opened on 8 August, involve units from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
and Uzbekistan and their counterparts from 11 European countries, the U.S., UK,
and Canada. * Lowell Bezanis
PAPER: UKRAINE WAGING "FINANCIAL WAR" AGAINST BLACK SEA FLEET.
representative of the Black Sea Fleet's financial service said Ukraine is
waging "a financial war against the fleet," Komsomolskaya pravda
reported on 9 August. While the fleet is nominally under the command of both
the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, only Russia is providing money to
maintain it, the paper reported. Russia allotted more than 137 billion
karbovantsi (approximately $900,000) to pay military and civilian wages through
July. However, Ukraine required two of the fleet's air bases to pay 23 billion
karbovantsi (approximately $150,000) in taxes, meaning that fleet personnel
were only paid for June. * Doug Clarke
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
VOL. 1, NO. 156, 11 AUGUST 1995
UKRAINIAN FOREIGN, DEFENSE MINISTERS VISIT DISPUTED ISLAND.
Foreign Minister Hennadii Udovenko and Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov visited
Serpent Island in the Black Sea on 10 August, Reuters reported. Ownership of
the 1.5 sq. km island, which was handed over by Romania to the Soviet Union in
1947 and used as a military base, has been disputed by Romania. Romanian
officials have said the island is just a small cluster of rocks and cannot be
considered a full-fledged part of either country. But large deposits of oil and
gas have reportedly been found just off the island, and Romania wants to
renegotiate "an accord on borders and on mapping out Black Sea areas." This
could mean that 2,800 sq. miles of sea area will be disputed. Ukraine maintains
that current borders are inviolable. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natalya
Zarudna said neither the island nor the ministers' visit should concern Romania
since the island is part of Ukraine. * Ustina Markus
BELARUS TO MEET IMF TARGET BY MID-AUGUST.
The Belarusian government has
committed itself to meeting the IMF target on renewing investment funds'
licenses by 15 August, Belarusian TV reported on 9 August. This should help
persuade the IMF to release credits worth $250-300 million to the republic. The
investment funds' licenses were rescinded after the first round of Belarusian
privatization in March. Deputy Minister for State Property and Privatization
Vasil Nekrashyevich defended the move, saying that many investment funds were
exploiting their clients by buying privatization checks below their face value
and then reselling them at higher prices. Nekrashyevich said that such
activities have now ceased and that only three investment funds are still under
investigation. * Ustina Markus
BELARUS INCREASES FUEL PRICES.
Belarusian Radio on 10 August reported
that the price of oil and oil products in Belarus will increase to match those
of Russia. To date, Belarus has maintained some of the lowest prices for fuel
among CIS countries. Its decision to raise those prices was prompted by its
customs union with Russia, which foresees uniform fuel prices in both
countries. Ironically, integration with Russia was promoted in Belarus with the
argument that closer ties would keep energy prices down. * Ustina
NORWEGIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN BALTIC STATES.
Jorgen Kosmo began a tour
of the Baltic States on 8 August by signing a bilateral military cooperation
agreement with his Lithuanian counterpart, Linas Linkevicius, in Vilnius. Kosmo
then traveled to Latvia where he signed a similar agreement with Prime Minister
Maris Gailis and visited the training base of the Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion
at Adazi. He toured the Tallinn port on 10 August, discussing Norwegian aid for
the Estonian navy, the recently opened defense forces training center in
Paldiski, and the Amari airfield, BNS reported. The next day, he signed a
military cooperation agreement with Estonian Defense Minister Andrus Oovel. *
EIGHT PERSONS REMOVED FROM LATVIAN SAEIMA ELECTION LISTS.
Central Electoral Committee on 10 August crossed off eight names from the lists
of candidates in the fall parliamentary elections, BNS reported. Six candidates
of the Socialist Party were removed because they were active members of the
Communist Party after 13 January 1991. A Russian Citizens' Party candidate was
removed for having a forged state-language test certificate and a National
Democratic Party candidate for having been an employee of the Soviet security
services. The Riga Center District Court the previous day ruled that the
stipulation that former communists cannot run in the parliamentary elections
did not contradict the Latvian Constitution. It also rejected the Socialist
Party's demand that former Latvian Communist Party First Secretary Alfreds
Rubiks be reinstated as a parliamentary candidate. * Saulius Girnius
LITHUANIA'S HARD-CURRENCY RESERVES "MORE THAN SUFFICIENT."
Minister Adolfas Slezevicius told a press conference on 10 August that because
of "more than sufficient" reserves of gold and hard currencies, the value of
the litas will remain stable, BNS reported. He said the reserves are worth
almost $700 million, exceeding the amount necessary to cover all the litai in
circulation by $130 million. Slezevicius also noted that the per capita
reserves of Lithuania were larger than those of Poland. * Saulius Girnius
UPDATE ON ATTEMPT TO POSTPONE POLISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
on 10 August quoted three independent but unidentified sources as saying that
Polish Ambassador to Russia Stanislaw Ciosek, in his letter to the Democratic
Left Alliance (SLD) leader Aleksander Kwasniewski suggesting that presidential
elections be postponed (see OMRI Daily Digest, 8 August 1995), proposed
that President Lech Walesa's term of office be extended for another two years,
after which he would not seek re-election. His successor would be elected by
the National Assembly and Kwasniewski would be assured of being elected.
Gazeta Wyborcza on 11 August quotes an SLD politician Danuta Waniek as
saying that Walesa was pressing in June for the "new round table," as Ciosek's
proposal is known, "otherwise 100,000 people will be [protesting] on the
streets." * Jakub Karpinski
CZECH FOREIGN RELATIONS.
Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandr Vondra
on 10 August told reporters that he has met with German Foreign Ministry State
Secretary Peter Hartmann several times to discuss ways to improve bilateral
relations, Rude pravo reported. Major disagreements are over views on
the Nazi occupation of the Czech Lands during World War II and the Czechoslovak
government's forced expulsion of Sudetan Germans after the war. Meanwhile,
Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus and Agriculture Minister Josef Lux met with Polish
Agriculture Minister Roman Jagelinski in Prague on 10 August to discuss
bilateral relations, the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), and
membership in the EU. Preparations were also made for a meeting between Klaus
and Polish Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy scheduled for 17 August. Lux and
Jagelinski signed an agricultural cooperation agreement that, according to Lux,
should increase Czech exports of fruit, vegetables, and consumer goods to
Poland, CTK reported. * Sharon Fisher
CZECH ANNUAL INFLATION RATE BELOW 10%.
The Czech Statistical Office has
announced that annual inflation reached only 9.7% in July, Hospodarske
noviny reported on 11 August. Although housing prices increased, grocery
prices fell, particularly those of seasonal vegetables. In other news, the
Czech unemployment rate fell to 2.9 percent in July. The highest level was in
the district of Karvina (6.8%) and the lowest was in Prague (0.2%). * Sharon
SLOVAK OPPOSITION TAKES ACTION.
Democratic Union Deputy Chairman Roman
Kovac confirmed that 43 opposition deputies from the DU, Christian Democratic
Movement, Common Choice, and the Hungarian coalition have filed charges with
the Constitutional Court against a parliamentary commission established in
November 1994, Narodna obroda reported on 11 August. The commission,
which consists only of coalition members, is investigating the "constitutional
crisis" of March 1994 and has called in for questioning a number of deputies
who left the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) and Slovak
National Party in 1993 and 1994. The apparent aim of the commission is to
collect evidence against the DU and the Slovak president. Kovac said the
commission has been given executive powers, thereby violating the
constitutional division of powers. Another DU Deputy Chairman, Milan Knazko,
criticized the government's current campaign against the president. * Sharon
SLOVAK GOVERNMENT COUNCIL HOLDS EXTRAORDINARY SESSION ON ROMA.
Slovak government Council for Nationalities on 10 August held an extraordinary
session at which it adopted proposals on issues of racism and violence against
Roma, Sme reported. The session was attended by 12 Romani groupings
(comprising 6 Romani political parties and a total of 30 organizations) as well
as representatives of districts with large Romani populations. The council
adopted 10 recommendations aimed at preventing the spread of violence and,
specifically, at monitoring the activities of skinheads. Council chairman and
Deputy Premier Jozef Kalman said details of the measures to be taken would be
worked out soon. The council also condemned the events of 21 July in Ziar Nad
Hronom as a criminal act. One Romani youth died after being set on fire by
skinheads. * Alaina Lemon
HUNGARIAN-ROMANIAN MILITARY EXERCISES.
Hungary and Romania on 10 August
began military exercises provided for by a cooperation agreement signed by the
two countries' Defense Ministries last year, Radio Bucharest reported. The
exercises are taking place in central Hungary and will last for 10 days.
Romania has sent a platoon of some 35 men, who will participate in shooting
practice with their Hungarian counterparts. Reuters quoted Lieutenant Colonel
Laszlo Tikos as saying that a Hungarian platoon will visit Romania on 28
August. He added that tank exercises and maneuvers between the countries'
Danube River fleets are also planned for later this year. Both fleets are
involved in enforcing the trade embargo against the rump Yugoslavia. * Jan
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
VOL. 1, NO. 156, 11 AUGUST 1995
U.S. PRESENTS EVIDENCE OF SREBRENICA MASSACRE.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN
Madeleine Albright told the Security Council on 10 August that there is
"compelling evidence" that Bosnian Serb forces killed up to 2,700 Muslims in
Srebrenica and buried them in a mass grave. She produced photos and an
eyewitness, who said he escaped by pretending to be dead and then fleeing to
Bosnian government territory. The Security Council has demanded that the Serbs
allow human rights monitors into the area. The international media also stated
on 11 August that Amnesty International has released a report saying that up to
4,000 Muslims remain unaccounted for. The Guardian, however, wrote that
there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that a massacre has taken place. *
REPORTS ON MLADIC'S GRISLY ROLE IN SREBRENICA.
Roy Gutman on 8 August wrote that Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic took an
active interest in the fate of the captured Srebrenica Muslims and "personally
attended much of the butchery that followed." He would reassure his victims
that he would protect them and then promise his troops a massacre in what one
observer called the typical "fascist pattern we've seen throughout" the
conflict. Referring to the men and boys, Mladic announced to his soldiers that
there would be "a feast . . . with blood up to your knees." Of the women,
eyewitnesses said the internationally wanted war criminal told his troops:
"Beautiful. Keep the good ones over there. Enjoy them." * Patrick Moore
International media on 11 August reported that the
Security Council has called on Croatia to protect the thousands of Serbs
fleeing to Bosnian Serb territory and to Serbia. Particularly ugly incidents
were reported from Sisak, where Croatian crowds not only pelted the Serbs with
stones and bricks but also hauled them out of their vehicles and beat them as
police looked on. The International Herald Tribune said that some Serbs
swore vengeance, but that one man blamed the collapse of Krajina on the Serbs'
own "crime, smuggling." Novi list wrote that Serbs in Benkovac forced 70
Croats to flee with them and killed three of the elderly. The BBC noted that
some Bosnian Serbs have begun joining the Krajina exodus, fearing that the
Bosnian or Croatian armies will move into their areas next. The VOA reported
that Krajina Serb refugees in the Banja Luka area have started forcing the few
remaining Muslims and Croats to flee and that those Muslims and Croats have
begun arriving in Croatia. The broadcast also noted the "qualitative
difference" between the flight of the Krajina Serbs in a well-coordinated
movement of vehicles loaded with goods and the expulsion of the Croats and
Muslims on foot and with little more than the clothes they were wearing. *
BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER WITHDRAWS RESIGNATION.
In a move little noticed
while media attention was on Croatia, Haris Silajdzic offered to resign on 3
August. International media reported on 11 August that he agreed the previous
day to stay on after receiving much support from Bosnia's allies abroad and a
request to remain in office from President Alija Izetbegovic. Silajdzic told
the Italian daily Il Messaggero on 10 August that Izetbegovic had
acquired more and more power at his expense over the past year. Silajdzic
demanded that the government be responsible only to the parliament and not to
the president. He slammed the legislature as well, saying that it showed no
interest in the fate of the people of Srebrenica and Gorazde. Finally, the
prime minister said that the current in-fighting was simply about power and did
not include an ideological debate on the role of political Islam. * Patrick
BELGRADE COMPLAINS OF "CROATIAN AGGRESSION" . . .
Tanjug on 10 August
reported that federal rump Yugoslav authorities plan to appeal to the UN
Security Council to help restrain "Croatian aggression." According to Tanjug,
Belgrade believes that Zagreb remains the key source of "danger . . . to [an]
expansion of the conflict." Belgrade is also expected to call again for a
lifting of sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia. * Stan Markotich
. . . AND CONTINUES TO MOBILIZE.
AFP on 10 August quoted eyewitnesses as
saying that Belgrade is continuing to move troops and military hardware closer
to the Croatian border in eastern Slavonia. The news agency, citing the
Belgrade newspaper Telegraf, also observed that rump Yugoslav military
authorities may mobilize up to 26,000 reservists who are likely to be added to
the army near Novi Sad, bringing its total up to some 35, 000 troops. Since 5
August, convoys of at least 100 armored vehicles carrying anti-tank and
anti-aircraft missiles have made their way to Sid, on the border with Croatia.
* Stan Markotich
BELGRADE MEDIA SIGNAL SHIFT ON "GREATER SERBIA" POLICY?
Serbian TV newscasts since 7 August have used a new format for weather reports.
Previously forecasts were accompanied by maps of the rump Yugoslavia as well as
maps denoting "Serbian lands" occupied by Serbian forces outside the rump
Yugoslavia. Recent broadcasts have shown instead flower arrangements when
commentary switched to accounts of weather outside the rump Yugoslavia. This
development has added fuel to speculation that Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic has signaled he is moving away from the goal of incorporating
Serb-held and -populated territory outside the rump Yugoslavia into a "Greater
Serbia." * Stan Markotich
ROMANIAN DAILY RENEWS ATTACKS OVER EMBARGO.
editor-in-chief Petre Mihai Bacanu, speaking at a press conference on 10
August, renewed allegations that Nicolae Vacaroiu's cabinet endorsed oil
contraband to the rump Yugoslavia, Radio Bucharest reported. Bacanu first made
the accusation in a 26 July article. He told journalists that the government
was "lying to everybody, including the Security Council," over its adherence to
the UN embargo, citing several instances of sanctions-breaking. A spokesman for
the Interior Ministry the same day said his department was strictly applying
the sanctions. He mentioned hundreds of cases in which police and border guards
have confiscated fuel from smugglers. * Dan Ionescu
MOLDOVAN PREMIER SENDS OPEN LETTER TO DNIESTER LEADER.
in an open letter to Dniester leader Igor Smirnov, has urged that Moldovan
pupils in the breakaway region be allowed to learn their mother tongue in the
Roman alphabet, Infotag and Interfax reported on 9 and 10 August. Sangheli
deplored the confusion reigning at local schools following a ban on the
teaching of "Moldovan" in the Latin script imposed by Tiraspol last year. The
pro-Russian Dniester leadership insists on the use of the Cyrillic alphabet at
schools there. The ban resulted in the closure last year of Moldovan schools
for several months. The so-called Moldovan language is a Romanian dialect. *
BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT INCREASES ELECTRICITY PRICES.
The cabinet on 10
August announced increases in electricity prices by 25% for private households,
and 38% for industry, Bulgarian newspapers reported the following day. The new
prices will go into effect on 1 September. From 15 November, electricity prices
will be adjusted to take into account inflation. Pensioners will receive a
monthly compensation equivalent to the price of 500 kW. Trud reported
that the government expects inflation to go up by 2% as a result of the hikes.
* Stefan Krause
BULGARIA TO MAKE DEBT PAYMENT.
AFP on 10 August reported that Bulgaria
will pay part of its debt to Paris Club creditors on 19 August. The agency
cites a report in Standart based on statements by unidentified Finance
Ministry officials. The next regular debt payment of around $10 million is
slated for 30 September. Total repayment on the principal in 1995 amounts to
$50 million, while another $5-6 million is due in interest payments.
Standart also reported that the National Bank's reserves amounted to
$1.5 billion on 1 August, up from $889 million in January. * Stefan Krause
RECORD HIGH FOR ALBANIAN TOURISM.
Albania in the first half of 1995
registered a record number of foreign visitors, BETA reported on 10 August.
Some 36,000 tourists visited the country. Tourism is a key element in Albania's
strategy for economic development. Most foreigners went to the southern part of
the country, where Italian and German businesses are the largest investors. *
[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave