OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No.192, 3 October 1995
TRANSCAUCASIA & CENTRAL ASIA
, OMRI, Inc.
FORMER GEORGIAN SECURITY SERVICE CHIEF CHARGED WITH TERRORISM.
Georgian Prosecutor's Office has sanctioned the arrest of Lt. Gen. Igor
Giorgadze, former chief of the Georgian National Security Service, and two of
his supporters, Russian media reported on 2 October. A group of Georgian
officials have flown to Moscow, where the suspects are believed to be residing,
to carry out the arrests. Interior Minister Shota Kviraia said they
masterminded four terrorist acts, including the attempted assassination of
Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze on 29 August. According to Kviraia, the
terrorist plan against Shevardnadze was drawn up at the flat of Giorgadze's
father, General (ret.) Panteleimon Giorgadze, who is registered as one of the
candidates in Georgia's 5 November presidential elections. -- Irakli Tsereteli,
AKAEV FIRES LOCAL LEADERS.
Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev has decreed the
dismissal of five local district administration heads for "grave shortcomings
in their work," mainly failure to pay wages, the BBC reported on 29 September.
Four of the five are from the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan, scene of rioting
in 1990 and one of the politically troublesome areas for Akaev. -- Bruce
Pannier, OMRI, Inc.
KARIMOV-NIYAZOV MEETING POSTPONED.
The two-day meeting between the Uzbek
and Turkmen presidents was abruptly canceled with both sides giving different
versions of what happened. Reuters reported on 28 September that the visit of
Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov to Tashkent was called off because of
disagreements over water policies. A 28 September broadcast of Radio Mayak
reported that there is conflict over "the use of important water conservancy
installations that are located in Turkmenistan's territory, but were
constructed during the time of the USSR using Uzbekistan's resources." Niyazov
has missed several important regional meetings in the past year, including the
recent Nukus conference on the Aral Sea (see OMRI Daily Digest, 22
September 1995). -- Roger Kangas, OMRI, Inc.
KAZAKHSTAN PROPOSES A CENTRAL ASIAN UN MILITARY CONTINGENT.
Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokaev proposed that a military contingent be
established in Central Asia under UN auspices, ITAR-TASS reported on 30
September. Addressing the 50th UN General Assembly session, Tokaev appealed to
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to contribute to Kazakhstan's initiative, aimed at
promoting peace and security in the Central Asian region, "notorious for the
presence of hotbeds of tensions." Tokaev also proposed to establish a UN
permanent commission on Central Asia. The call by Tokaev is a follow-up to the
conference on regional security held in Tashkent on 19-20 September to explore
the possibilities of creating a regional security system. -- Vyacheslav Kozlov,
KAZAKHSTAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN DECEMBER . . .
President Nursultan Nazarbaev set the dates for the parliamentary elections on
2 October, Russian and Western sources reported the same day. Elections to the
57-member upper house or Senate--comprising three representatives from each of
Kazakhstan's 19 regions--will be held on 5 December. The 67-member lower house
or Mejilis will be elected on 9 December in single-seat constituencies.
The national parliament elected in March 1994 was dissolved by Nazarbaev one
year later after the Constitutional Court declared the 1994 elections invalid.
The new election decree requires candidates for either chamber to pay a fee of
30,000 tenge (about $500) to the Central Electoral Commission. -- Bhavna Dave,
. . . FOUR OBLAST LEADERS SACKED.
As part of his attempts to overhaul
his government, Nazarbaev issued a presidential decree on 29 September
dismissing four regional leaders, Kazakhstani TV reported the same day. They
are: Baltash Tursumbaev, Savely Pachin, Syilbei Shalkhamanov, and Lazzat
Kiinov--the heads of Kustanai, Aktube, Kzyl Orda, and Mangishlak oblasts
respectively. -- Bhavna Dave, OMRI, Inc.
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No.192, 3 October 1995
, OMRI, Inc.
UKRAINIAN COAL MINERS STAGE WARNING STRIKE.
Some 2,000 miners from 200
or so coal mines throughout Ukraine staged a warning strike on 2 October
demanding payment of wages owed them since May by the government, Reuters and
Interfax-Ukraine reported the same day. Thousands also held a rally in the main
square in Donetsk protesting economic hardships in their sector and demanding
increased government subsidies. A representative of the Ukrainian Coal Workers'
Union said the strikers want the parliament to increase budget spending for
their industry and that if it fails to do so, they will hold a strike calling
for its dissolution. But leaders of the powerful Independent Miners' Union
denounced the strike, claiming it was organized by coal mine managers who
oppose economic reforms. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.
NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY FORMED IN BELARUS.
The United Democratic Party and
the Civic Party on 2 October merged to form a new opposition formation--the
United Civic Party, Belarusian TV reported on 2 October. Former Chairman of the
National Bank of Belarus Stanislau Bahdankevich was elected head of the new
party, which he described as liberal-conservative. Bahdankevich said its
priorities are to protect the country's sovereignty and proceed with market
economic reforms, including land privatization. As regards the immediate
future, the party wants to win seats in the new parliament. -- Ustina Markus,
BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT SAYS MILITARY NOT GUILTY IN BALLOON SHOOTING.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka, in an interview with Belarusian TV on 2 October,
said the country's military was not to blame for the 12 September shooting of a
balloon, which resulted in the deaths of two Americans. According to
Lukashenka, the air defense forces dealt with the balloon as an illegal
intruder into Belarusian air space. He said the blame lay to some extent with
bureaucrats and the balloon competition organizers, who failed to properly
inform Belarusian authorities about the race. After the incident Lukashenka
sent a personal letter of regret to U.S. President Bill Clinton but neither
apologized nor accepted responsibility for the downing. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI,
RUSSIAN SPECIALISTS REMAIN IN PALDISKI.
Parliamentary deputy Toomas
Alatalu said that some of the Russian military specialists who worked on the
dismantling of two nuclear reactors at the former Soviet submarine base at
Paldiski did not leave Estonia by 30 September as required by agreements, BNS
reported on 2 October. The government on 28 September approved only 11 of the
30 requests from specialists to allow family members to continue residing in
Estonia. Government representative in Paldiski Juri Tiik said that the police
and border guards were informed about the situation and would expel any persons
remaining illegally. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.
DIFFICULTIES IN FORMING COALITION AFTER LATVIAN ELECTIONS.
Movement for Latvia's strong showing in the parliamentary elections (16 seats)
has made the formation of a majority coalition in the Latvian parliament
difficult. Joachim Siegerist, leader of the movement, was considered a
right-wing extremist but is now stressing the need to build good relations with
Russia. Neither the left-wing nor the right-wing parties can form a
parliamentary majority without Siegerist. If the leading parties--the leftist
Democratic Party Saimnieks and the ruling Latvia's Way (18 and 17
seats)--have said they will not cooperate with him but may be forced to form an
alliance with some of the other rightist parties. The parliament's first
session is scheduled for 7 November. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.
WORLD BANK SURVEY ON BRIBERY IN LITHUANIA.
A survey conducted by the
World Bank in July among 200 foreign investors and 200 Lithuanian businessmen
revealed a serious problem with bribes, BNS reported on 29 September.
Lithuanian businessmen were estimated to spend an average of 13,000 litai
($3,250) per year on bribes. Fifty-four percent of businessmen in Vilnius and
Kaunas admitted they had paid official bribes, ranging from 50 litai to 200,000
litai. While 80% of foreign investors said they had been asked to pay bribes,
90% stated corruption was preventing them from developing business and
increasing investments. Foreign investors mentioned tax inspectors and customs
officials as the most corrupt groups, although they usually demanded relatively
small bribes, ranging from $30 to $100. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.
POLISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION UPDATE.
The Central Election Commission on
2 October decided not to register Boleslaw Tejkowski, head of the rightist
Polish National Community, as a candidate in the upcoming presidential
elections. The commission suspected that some of the 100,000 signatures
supporting Tejkowski were falsified. The same day, the radical peasant activist
Andrzej Lepper became the 17th candidate to be registered. Meanwhile, there was
a record low turnout in by-elections for two Senate seats. Only 10% and 6.5% of
voters turned out in Szczecin and Wroclaw, respectively. -- Jakub Karpinski and
Dagmar Mroziewicz, OMRI, Inc.
POLAND PAYS BACK ITS DEBTS.
Poland on 2 October paid the first $55
million installment this year of its $28 billion debt to the Paris Club of
creditors. The Paris and London Clubs have cut Poland's $47 billion debt by
half, but the debt to the clubs has increased to $36 million owing to
outstanding interest rates, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 3 October. --
Jakub Karpinski and Dagmar Mroziewicz, OMRI, Inc.
CZECH INTERIOR MINISTRY INSPECTOR FIRED OVER MAFIA RAID.
Minister Jan Ruml on 2 October recalled the ministry's chief internal
investigator for allegedly leaking secret information, Czech media reported.
Vladimir Nechanicky, his deputy, and four other members of the ministry's
Inspectorate were suspended on half-pay pending an inquiry. They are accused of
revealing data incriminating Ruml's deputy and senior police officials in
alleged criminal actions in connection with a raid last May on a Prague
restaurant known to be a meeting place for foreign organized criminal gangs.
Following a tip-off that a Russian mafia boss was to be murdered there, police
raided the restaurant and detained around 200 people. None was charged with a
crime, but the restaurant's Ukrainian owner was later expelled from the Czech
Republic. Ruml said the information leaks jeopardized the fight against
Russian-speaking mafiosi operating in the Czech Republic. -- Steve Kettle,
MORE ROMA MAY BE ADMITTED TO CZECH POLICE FORCE.
Romani organizations in
the Czech Republic have secured the authorities' promise to help more Roma
become policemen by allowing them to enter without a secondary school diploma,
although they will have to finish it while on the job, CTK reported on 2
October. The action, intended to balance educational disadvantages, was
announced after a meeting between Romani representatives and members of the
government Committee for Nationalities, which was also attended by Premier
Vaclav Klaus. Igor Nemec, chairman of the committee, noted that Romani police
could deal with cases concerning Roma better than "ordinary employees." --
Alaina Lemon, OMRI, Inc.
SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S SON FREED ON BAIL.
Michal Kovac Jr., who was arrested
in late August after being abducted from Slovakia and dumped in Austria, was
freed from prison on bail totaling 1 million schillings ($108,000),
international media reported on 2 October. Austrian police were acting on an
international arrest warrant issued by a Munich prosecutor who charged Kovac
Jr. with suspected fraud. Kovac Jr. is not permitted to leave Austria until
officials decide whether to extradite him to Germany. The case of abduction
currently remains unresolved, although Slovak police have found evidence
suggesting the Slovak Information Service (SIS) was involved. This find has
caused further tension and polarization of Slovakia's political scene. --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.
SLOVAK OPPOSITION TO CALL EXTRAORDINARY PARLIAMENT SESSION.
Democratic Movement (KDH) Deputy Chairman Ivan Simko on 2 October announced
that all opposition parties have agreed on the need to call an extraordinary
parliament session. Only 30 signatures are required for such a move. The
session is expected to address the conflict between the SIS and the police in
connection with the Kovac Jr. case. Interior Minister Ludovit Hudek, SIS
director Ivan Lexa, and Attorney General Michal Valo will be expected to
address the parliament. The opposition will also demand representation on the
parliamentary organ overseeing the SIS, Narodna obroda reported.
Augustin Marian Huska of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia told
Slovak Radio that the KDH is attempting to "show its muscles more than its
share in the parliament allows," but he stressed that "the parliamentary
majority is unwilling to give any space to KDH representatives." -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.
GERMANY PLEDGES CREDIT GUARANTEES FOR HUNGARY.
Germany on 2 October
promised Hungary new loan guarantees worth up to 1 billion German marks ($710
million) to help finance the country's reform process, Hungarian newspapers
reported the next day. The agreement was signed by Hungarian Prime Minister
Gyula Horn and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Bonn, where Kohl reaffirmed his
pledge to help Hungary gain membership in the EU and supported Hungary's
restructuring and modernization plans. The credit agreement, granted to Hungary
under very favorable conditions, is aimed at financing projects in
transportation, environmental protection, and energy distribution and helping
the Hungarian economy prepare for European integration. -- Zsofia Szilagyi,
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No.192, 3 October 1995
, OMRI, Inc.
FAILED ATTEMPT ON MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT'S LIFE.
An attempt to kill Kiro
Gligorov failed on 3 October, AFP reported, citing Macedonian TV. A car bomb
exploded in central Skopje at 9:30 a.m. local time as Gligorov's car drove by.
The president's driver was killed and his security officer and several other
people injured. Gligorov has been admitted to the hospital, where he is "under
medical care." According to Macedonian TV, his life is "not threatened," but
there are contradictory reports about the extent of his injuries. Two persons
have been arrested in connection with the blast. According to MIC, they were
driving a car registered in the Macedonian town of Titov Veles. All frontier
checkpoints have been put on alert. So far, no one has claimed responsibility
for the explosion. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
GLIGOROV IN BELGRADE.
The previous day, Gligorov had met with his
Serbian counterpart, Slobodan Milosevic, in Belgrade on 2 October,
Vecher and Nova Makedonija reported. Milosevic said he favored
"full normalization" of relations between Macedonia and Greece and between
Macedonia and the rump Yugoslavia "as soon as possible," saying it is "crucial
for political stability in the Balkans." Gligorov called Belgrade and Skopje's
mutual recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations "essential."
He added that an agreement might be reached in November if a peace accord for
Bosnia-Herzegovina has been reached by then. It was Gligorov's first visit to
Belgrade since Macedonia declared independence in 1991 and the first meeting
between the two presidents since 1993. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
EU ENDORSES BOSNIAN RECONSTRUCTION PLAN.
The European Union foreign
ministers on 2 October backed a French-German initiative for Bosnian post-war
reconstruction, international agencies reported. The EU Commission is to
finalize the details of a plan to rebuild Bosnia by 30 October. This move
reflects growing optimism that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard
Holbrooke's peace initiatives will succeed. It also reveals the EU's
willingness to take the lead on economic reconstruction once peace is achieved.
The EU plan will provide help for refugees, for the reconstruction of towns
destroyed by war, and for the building of economic and institutional relations
between the countries of the former Yugoslavia and the EU. The EU has said it
is willing to foot a third of the bill for post-war reconstruction, which has
been estimated at $4 billion. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.
FRESH EVIDENCE ON SREBRENICA MASSACRE.
The Christian Science
Monitor on 2 October said that one of its reporters has completed
interviews with witnesses of alleged Serbian massacres in July of Muslim males
of military age. He told Monitor Radio that the people agreed on even minor
details and provided information that only someone who had actually seen the
site of the murders could have known. The reporter said some 2,000 men were
machine-gunned and dumped into a mass grave. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
BOSNIAN SERBS ON COUNTEROFFENSIVE.
Beta reported on 2 October that
Bosnian Serb forces are on the move against Bosanska Krupa and Kljuc.
International media said the Bosnian Serbs around Sarajevo released the armored
car carrying the Slovenian ambassador, which they had earlier fired on when it
strayed into their territory by mistake. U.S. negotiator Richard Holbrooke
broke off his marathon cease-fire talks after a session in Sarajevo ended
"inconclusively." The Bosnian government and the Serbs cannot even agree as to
what such a truce would entail. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
UN INVESTIGATING APPARENT MASSACRE OF ELDERLY SERBS.
UN spokesman Chris
Gunness told Reuters on 2 October that the UN is looking into the probable
murder of 12 elderly Serbian civilians in Varivode in Krajina on 28 September.
He added that the Croatian authorities for the first time have acknowledged
that a mass killing took place. Serbian civilians said armed men in military
dress had previously looted and torched only abandoned property but that they
were now robbing elderly Serbs in their houses and killing livestock if the
Serbs had no money. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
SERBIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES SIGN DECLARATION.
The opposition Democratic
Party and Democratic Party of Serbia, together with the extraparliamentary
Serbian Liberal Party and United People's Party, have signed a joint political
declaration, Nasa Borba reported on 2 October. To "save the people and
the homeland," they propose replacing the "communist regime" with a democratic
one and the unification of all "Serbian lands and people." It is unclear if
this means the opposition is uniting for the first time since 1990 or if this
is just an attempt to show the opposition is still alive. In another
development, the Hague-based International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia has asked Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to deliver up
indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, Novi
list reported on 2 October. -- Daria Sito Sucic, OMRI, Inc.
SECOND WAVE OF MASS PRIVATIZATION STARTS IN ROMANIA.
The second phase of
the Romanian government's mass privatization program officially started on 2
October, Romanian media reported. Romanians are expected to trade nominal
coupons, as well as vouchers received in 1991, for shares in a company by 31
December. They can also opt to entrust their coupons by 31 March 1996 to one of
the six Private Property Funds, which will act as mutual funds after that
deadline. The exchange of coupons and vouchers for shares will be brokered by
some 1,000 centers. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.
MOLDOVA SIGNS INTERIM TRADE DEAL WITH EU.
European Union foreign
ministers on 2 October signed in Luxembourg an interim trade agreement with the
Republic of Moldova, Reuters reported. The deal includes the economic aspects
of a broader EU-Moldova agreement signed in November 1994 but not yet ratified.
The broader agreement, which paves the way for strengthened diplomatic,
political, and economic ties between the EU and the former Soviet republic, is
similar to agreements concluded by the EU with Russia and Ukraine. The interim
accord focuses on trade and other economic issues. It provides for tariff cuts
and extra aid to be put into effect before the broader framework for closer
relations is implemented. -- Matyas Szabo, OMRI, Inc.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONCERNED ABOUT DEVELOPMENTS IN MOLDOVA.
Solonari, chairman of the Moldovan parliamentary Human Rights and Minorities
Committee, told Infotag on 2 October that deputies of the Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly have expressed concern over President Mircea Snegur's
plans to turn Moldova into a "presidential republic." Snegur last week accused
parliamentary leaders of tarnishing his image in a message addressed to Miguel
Angel Martinez, chairman of the CE Parliamentary Assembly, suggesting that
Snegur was seeking to establish dictatorship in Moldova. Parliamentary chairman
Petru Lucinschi responded that the letter to Martinez was a brief, purely
factual overview of the political situation in Moldova. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
HOLBROOKE IN SOFIA.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke
visited Sofia on 1-2 October to brief Bulgarian politicians on the peace
process in Bosnia and to discuss U.S.-Bulgarian relations, RFE/RL and Bulgarian
newspapers reported. He met with President Zhelyu Zhelev, Prime Minister Zhan
Videnov, and Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski. Holbrooke said Bulgaria has made
significant sacrifices in enforcing sanctions against rump Yugoslavia and that
the U.S. will bear in mind any sacrifices by so-called front-line states when
it comes to post-war reconstruction programs. He added that Bulgaria "will play
an important role in reconstructing the Balkan region after [the end of] the
Yugoslav conflict." On Bulgaria's possible NATO membership, Holbrooke said the
country must "decide what it wishes to do in terms of its future orientation in
Europe." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
Vessels from Greece and Turkey took part in a
military exercise in the Aegean Sea for the first time since 1974, AFP reported
on 2 October. Greek government spokesman Tylemachos Hytiris said a Greek, a
Turkish, a Dutch, and a U.S. warship took part in a "technical exercise"
organized on the sidelines of NATO's Partnership for Peace maneuvers in the
Black Sea. Greece had previously boycotted NATO exercises in the Aegean Sea in
protest at the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus in 1974 and because of
disputes over the delineation of territorial waters in the Aegean Sea between
Athens and Ankara. Hytiris also announced that Greece is sending a relief team
to southeastern Turkey, where at least 71 people were killed by an earthquake
on 1 October. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
[As of 1200 CET], OMRI, Inc.
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave
, OMRI, Inc.