OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 216, 6 November 1995
SUPREME COURT ORDERS REGISTRATION OF YABLOKO, DERZHAVA.
Court ordered the Central Electoral Commission (TsIK) to register Aleksandr
Rutskoi's Derzhava on 3 November and Grigorii Yavlinskii's Yabloko the next
day. One witness, former Yabloko candidate Valerii Galchenko, testified that
Valerii Yegorov, a TsIK employee, had urged him in the name of the TsIK
leadership to compromise Yabloko by giving false information, NTV reported.
However, TsIK Chairman Nikolai Ryabov said the Supreme Court "exceeded its
authority" in overturning his commission's refusal to register Yabloko, Russian
Public TV (ORT) and ITAR-TASS reported on 5 November. The TsIK registered
Derzhava on 4 November and is expected to register Yabloko on 6 November. --
Robert Orttung and Laura Belin
YELTSIN REASSERTS CONTROL.
Presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev said
that the power ministers remain directly subordinate to President Boris
Yeltsin, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 November. Earlier, Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin had said that they would have to work with him while the president
is in the hospital (see OMRI Daily Digest, 31 October 1995). Both
Medvedev and Chernomyrdin blamed the confusion on journalists'
misinterpretation of the prime ministers' words. However, after meeting with
Yeltsin on 3 November, Chernomyrdin said he did not support "overworking the
president." On 3 November, Yeltsin appeared on Russian television for the first
time since being hospitalized on 26 October, but he appeared stiff and slurred
his words, according to Western media. -- Robert Orttung
YELTSIN ASKS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO RECONSIDER DEPUTIES' IMMUNITY.
President Boris Yeltsin asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the
constitutionality of parliamentary immunity rules, Russian and Western agencies
reported on 5 November. The president shares the public's concern that the
current law attracts criminals who try to use the parliament as a shelter from
justice, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported, quoting the presidential press
service. All federal and local lawmakers enjoy immunity from prosecution and
testimony. According to official statistics, more than 350 federal and local
deputies have come under investigation in the past two years and are avoiding
prosecution with parliamentary immunity. Last week, the State Duma failed to
overturn the law on deputies' immunity (see OMRI Daily Digest, 26
October 1995). -- Anna Paretskaya
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS APPEAL ON ORT.
The last parliamentary
attempts to reverse President Yeltsin's November 1994 decree ordering the
reorganization of Ostankino TV and the creation of Russian Public TV (ORT) have
ended in failure. In a decision that cannot be appealed, the Constitutional
Court refused to hear a parliamentary challenge to the decree's legality on the
grounds that "the president's right to issue decrees of this nature follows
from the constitution," ITAR-TASS reported on 4 November. ORT took over Channel
1 broadcasting privileges from Ostankino on 1 April, but opponents of the
restructuring continued to fight the decree. The Duma and Federation Council
passed a draft law annulling the creation of ORT, but Yeltsin vetoed it on 7
June (see OMRI Daily Digest, 6 April and 8 June 1995). -- Laura Belin
KHASBULATOV LAUNCHES PEACE INITIATIVE.
Speaking in Grozny on 4 November,
former Supreme Soviet Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov attempted to jump-start the
stalled Chechen negotiation process by proposing a Russo-Chechen accord,
providing for the demilitarization of Chechnya, a common currency and
citizenship, and unhindered movement between Russia and Chechnya, Russian and
Western agencies reported. Khasbulatov also called for federal authorities to
drop criminal charges against separatist Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev and
negotiate directly with him. Dudaev negotiator Khodz-Akhmed Yarikhanov reacted
positively to Khasbulatov's proposal. However, on 4-5 November, 10 federal
servicemen were killed and eight wounded in continued fighting.
CIS PRIME MINISTERS SIGN ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS.
The CIS prime ministers
signed 10 economic cooperation documents, including agreements on scientific
and technical cooperation, the transport of natural gas, and civil aviation, at
a 3 November meeting in Moscow, Russian agencies reported. Kyrgyzstan,
Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan also formally agreed to join the
Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan customs union.
Prime Minster Viktor
Chernomyrdin called for accelerated integration within the CIS but noted that
CIS states owe Russia $5.8 billion, mostly for energy supplies. He said Russia
could not endlessly finance its neighbors and suggested it would tighten credit
next year. -- Scott Parrish
MILITARY BALKING AT DESTROYING ARMS EAST OF THE URALS.
destroyed less than one-quarter of the tanks and half of the other armored
vehicles it promised to get rid of from the vast amount of equipment sent east
of the Urals in 1990, the Defense Ministry's top armored officer told ITAR-TASS
on 3 November. Col. Gen. Aleksandr Galkin noted that at a CFE treaty meeting in
Vienna on 16 July 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev made a "political
commitment" to destroy 6,331 tanks and 1,988 armored vehicles beyond the Urals
by the end of 1995. Galkin said only 1,518 tanks and 983 armored vehicles had
been destroyed so far. According to the agency, the Defense Ministry and now
feels that Gorbachev's promise is no longer in Russian interests. Galkin also
reported that Russia would meet the CFE treaty deadline of 16 November to
destroy its excess equipment west of the Urals even though only half of the
necessary money has been allocated to it so far. -- Doug Clarke
RUSSIA CONCERNED AT PLANNED U.S. TESTS.
The possibility of the U.S.
resuming nuclear testing is "certainly not an idle matter" for Russia, Foreign
Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin told Interfax on 3 November. He said that
the Russian embassy in Washington had already asked for "comprehensive
information on this matter." Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy announced
that it would conduct six tests over the next two years using high explosives
and some nuclear material. The U.S. argues that the tests would not involve any
nuclear yield from the fissile material. -- Doug Clarke
TOP POLICE OFFICER FIRED FOR REVEALING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.
Moscow police officer was fired for passing classified information on to a
criminal gang, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 November. Col. Gen. Anatolii Kulikov,
the interior minister, who has vowed to stop corruption within his ministry,
dismissed deputy police chief Maj. Gen. Valerii Aksakov on grounds of treason.
According to ITAR-TASS, Aksakov allegedly passed classified information on a
witness, linked to one of Russia's most notorious recent crimes, to an
unidentified group. Aksakov could face criminal charges. -- Thomas Sigel
CRIMINAL CHARGED WITH ORGANIZING LISTEV'S MURDER.
charged a criminal gang member with organizing last March's assassination of
the popular television host and director of Ostankino, Vladislav Listev,
Russian and Western agencies reported on 4 November. ITAR-TASS said the accused
belonged to the Solntsevo gang, named after a Moscow district and believed to
be one of the most influential and dangerous organized crime groups in the
city. The accused is suspected of acting on a contract from unknown planners
who could benefit from Listev's death. The murder was rumored to be linked to
the network's financial interests and Listev's plans to reorganize its
lucrative advertising market. -- Thomas Sigel
INFLATION 4.7% IN OCTOBER.
Russia's consumer prices edged up in October
by 4.7%, up from September's post-reform low of 4.5%, but well below January's
17.8%, Goskomstat announced on 3 November, according to Russian agencies.
Prices of food products rose by 3.4% in October, while non-food products were
up 5.1% and services 8.9%. The latest figures bring inflation for the first 10
months of 1995 to 114%. Officials now admit that Russia will not meet the
government target of 1% monthly inflation by the end of the year. Bringing
monthly inflation to below 5% has nevertheless been one of the government's
main achievements this year. -- Thomas Sigel
THE VOLUME OF INVESTMENT IN THE ECONOMY DROPS BY 15%.
According to the
Russian government's Center for Market Studies, the volume of investment in the
economy dropped by 15% during the first nine months of 1995 compared to the
same period in 1994 and now totals 144 trillion rubles ($32 billion), ITAR-TASS
reported on 2 November. The largest drop (almost 30%) was recorded in the light
and food industries, but investment also fell in the fuel and energy sector,
engineering, and metallurgy. Only nine of the 207 investment projects listed in
the 1995 Federal Investment Program have been finished. -- Natalia Gurushina
GOVERNMENT TO HALVE VAT ON FOOD.
Aleksandr Kalinin, head of the
government's Department for the Agro-industrial Complex, said that the
government intends to halve the VAT rate (from 20% to 10%) on a number of food
products, including grain, meat, and poultry, Interfax reported on 4 November.
Those products will be added to the list of goods (bread, milk, sugar, fish,
and baby food) which had their VAT rates reduced last summer. There are
increasing reports of a possible surge in food prices this winter, which the
government presumably is keen to allay in the run-up to the December elections.
-- Natalia Gurushina
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 216, 6 November 1995
SHEVARDNADZE AHEAD IN GEORGIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
predicted, preliminary figures show that Georgian parliament chairman Eduard
Shevardnadze has swept the country's 5 November presidential elections,
international media reported. In roughly half of the republic's electoral
districts, including strongholds of the late former President Zviad
Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze was leading with more than 70% of the vote, AFP
reported the next day. A spokesman for the OSCE, which monitored the elections,
said polling took place peacefully and without major violations. The results of
the parliamentary elections, in which 8,200 candidates belonging to 53
different parties ran for 235 seats in parliament, are expected to be announced
later this week. -- Lowell Bezanis
WARRANT FOR IOSELIANI'S ARREST.
The Georgian Prosecutor's Office has
issued a warrant for the arrest of Dzhaba Ioseliani, founder of the
paramilitary organization Mkhedrioni, alleging he was involved in an attempt to
assassinate parliament chairman Shevardnadze on 29 August. Ioseliani is running
for re-election in the parliamentary elections; if he fails to win a seat he is
expected to be arrested immediately, AFP reported. -- Lowell Bezanis
AUCTION FOR KYRGYZ FIRMS.
On 8-9 November, thirteen Kyrgyz enterprises
will go on the auction block, Interfax reported. "Several dozen countries" have
already filed 618 applications for buying shares in the businesses with the
largest amount, 97, coming from U.S. firms. Also mentioned were Turkey with 71
applications, India with 22, and Russia with 14. One of the country's largest
firms, the Kyrgyz Chemical and Metallurgical Plant will be included. The Kyrgyz
State Property Fund said the enterprises would offer from 8-76% of their
capital at the sales and that asking prices would range from $7,000 to $2.38
million. The international auction is the first for any former Soviet republic.
-- Bruce Pannier
HOMELAND DOORS OPEN TO KYRGYZ GERMANS.
German Foreign Minister Klaus
Kinkel told a group of Germans in Kyrgyzstan on 5 November that "the door to
Germany remains open," according to Western sources. The Germans in Kyrgyzstan
are part of the legacy of a forced resettlement by Soviet ruler Josef Stalin.
Since the late 1980s, tens of thousands of Germans living in Central Asia have
taken advantage of the opportunity to move to Germany. The German government
has given DM 58 million to Kyrgyzstan since the country's independence in 1991
in an attempt to provide support for Germans residing there and decrease the
amount of people emigrating from the region back to Germany. Kinkel repeated
promises of help to those Germans who wish to stay in Kyrgyzstan. The German
foreign minister is in Bishkek for a two-day visit. -- Bruce Pannier
NEW CASPIAN CONSORTIUM FORMED.
A new consortium to extract an estimated
100 million metric tons of oil from the Karabagh field in the Caspian Sea over
a 30-year period has been announced, Western and Russian media announced on 4
November. Participants in the consortium include LUKoil, Penzoil, Agip, and the
State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). The stakes each has in the venture
have yet to be disclosed. -- Lowell Bezanis
KAZAKHSTANI GAS BLAST KILLS 28.
A gas explosion in a residential
building in the town of Arqalyk in Central Kazakhstan killed 28 people on 4
November, according to a 5 November Kazakhstani TV report cited by AFP. Another
32 people were injured in the explosion, believed to have been caused by a leak
in heating gas, which also destroyed two stories of a five-story apartment
block. Arqalyk, located about 1,000 km northwest of the capital Almaty, is one
of the coldest places in Kazakhstan. -- Bhavna Dave
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 216, 6 November 1995
TIGHT CONTEST BETWEEN KWASNIEWSKI, WALESA IN FIRST ROUND OF POLISH
According to preliminary results released by the
Warsaw-based Public Opinion Research Center (OBOP), Democratic Left Alliance
leader Aleksander Kwasniewski won 34.8% of the vote and incumbent President
Lech Walesa 33.3% in the first round of the Polish presidential elections. The
two will compete on 19 November in the second round. Former Labor Minister
Jacek Kuron, the candidate of the Freedom Union, came in third with 8.9%. He
was followed by two former prime ministers: Jan Olszewski (7%) and Peasant
Party leader Waldemar Pawlak (4.8%). National Bank President Hanna
Gronkiewicz-Waltz received 2.7%. At 64.6%, turnout was larger than at any
presidential or parliamentary elections since 1989. The final results of the
first round will be released on 7 November. -- Jakub Karpinski in
CRIMEAN TATARS CONTINUE HUNGER STRIKE, DESPITE CONCESSIONS.
the Crimean Tatar caucus in the regional parliament are continuing their hunger
strike, despite the fact that lawmakers have approved an electoral system
guaranteeing Tatar representation under a new constitution, Reuters and
Ukrainian Radio reported on 4 November. Deputies adopted a compromise the same
day to change an article in the draft constitution after Crimean Tatar
legislators declared a hunger strike to protest the removal of a clause
providing for a quota of seats to represent the 250,000 Tatars in the region.
The parliament voted 67 to four to use proportional representation in the next
elections, thereby ensuring Tatars up to 15% of seats. Kurultai caucus members
believe the decision is inadequate, since some 64,000 Tatars who have resettled
on the peninsula still do not have Ukrainian citizenship and therefore cannot
vote. They are continuing their hunger strike to demand more guarantees of
equal status for the Crimean Tatar language with Russian and Ukrainian and
official recognition as a people. -- Chrystyna Lapychak
UKRAINIAN TROOPS IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.
Ukrainian Defense Minister
Valerii Shmarov has said Ukraine is willing to contribute troops to a new
peacekeeping force in Bosnia, but not one under NATO command, Reuters reported.
This position can be attributed to Ukraine's non-aligned status. Shmarov said
Ukraine was looking for a way to participate in peacekeeping operations outside
of NATO's command. -- Ustina Markus
UPDATE ON BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENTARY CRISIS.
Reuters reported that 81 out
of 97 Belarusian deputies meeting informally on 4 November supported President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka's demand that the minimum voter turnout for the 29
November by-elections remain at 50% rather than 25% This is a severe blow to
parliamentary speaker Mechyslau Hryb, who has been elected a deputy and has
been lobbying for the 25% threshold to ensure that a new parliament is elected.
Interfax reported Lukashenka as telling voters in the Myadel district not to
vote for anyone they did not know personally. He also accused parliamentary
candidates Stanislau Bahdankevich (former chairman of the National Bank of
Belarus) and Yurii Zakharenka (former interior minister ) of being frauds. --
UKRAINIAN MILITARY DELEGATION VISITS ESTONIA.
Palamarchuk, Ukrainian army deputy chief of staff, and Elvo Priks, vice
chancellor of the Estonian Defense Ministry, on 3 November signed a protocol
identifying the main areas of military cooperation between their countries in
1996, BNS reported. During his two-day visit, Palamarchuk also met with
Estonian commander-in-chief, Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Einseln; Defense Minister
Andrus Oovel; and parliamentary chairman Toomas Savi. Priks said Estonia would
investigate the possible purchase of Ukrainian light infantry weapons and
equipment as well as sending its officers to Ukraine's military colleges. --
CANDIDATES FOR LATVIAN PREMIER ON ECONOMIC PRIORITIES.
and Maris Grinblats, prime minister candidates of the National Conciliation
Bloc and National Bloc, have revealed their economic priorities, BNS reported
on 3 November. Grinblats said improved control over state income and next
year's budget were the key issues to be settled by the new government. He also
noted that he would continue the privatization of the Latvian Gas company.
Cevers said that his most serious concerns would be the fight against smuggling
and organized crime, preparing credit and investment programs, and introducing
a regime of economizing in the country. Decrees would be issued only after
consultations with entrepreneurs, he commented. -- Saulius Girnius
HAVEL SUPPORTS SENDING CZECH TROOPS TO BOSNIA.
President Vaclav Havel on
5 November said it is "essential" that Czech troops take part in any
international peacekeeping force sent to Bosnia. "We cannot be absent from
these units if we seriously mean our statements that we want to take joint
responsibility for the security situation in Europe and if we seriously want to
be a member of NATO," Havel said in his weekly radio talk. A Czech contingent
has already been serving in the UNPROFOR units in Croatia. Defense Minister
Vilem Holan, talking to reporters on 4 November, also supported sending Czech
troops to Bosnia. -- Steve Kettle
SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE.
Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar on 3 November
responded to statements by President Michal Kovac (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 3 November 1995) by saying the parliament or the people will have
to take action since Kovac does not have the "courage" to resign, Pravda
reported. In other news, Peter Weiss of the opposition Party of the
Democratic Left (SDL) on 4 November said he will not run for reelection as
party chairman at the next SDL congress in May. Weiss said he hopes to remain a
member of the party leadership and continue to work for the SDL's admission
into the Socialist International. Weiss's future as party chairman had been in
question ever since last fall's elections, when the SDL fared much worse than
expected. -- Sharon Fisher
CONTINUED CONTROVERSY OVER SLOVAK LANGUAGE LAW.
Slovakia's Hungarian coalition, returning from Strasbourg on 3 November, said
the Council of Europe has promised to discuss the state language bill with
Slovak representatives, Sme reported. The Hungarians have claimed the
draft law is unconstitutional and violates international norms and the
Slovak-Hungarian treaty. Pal Csaky of the Hungarian Christian Democratic
Movement said that if the parliament passes the bill, the Hungarians will bring
the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Meanwhile, the
Permanent Conference of the Civic Institute criticized the other opposition
parties for not taking a stand against the bill, which "will damage the culture
of entire Slovak society, not just the Hungarian minority," Pravda
reported. Deputy Premier Katarina Tothova on 3 November argued that the
bill is in line with the constitution and international conventions signed by
Slovakia. "Slovakia is a sovereign state that has the full right to pass
legislation on the state language," Tothova said. -- Sharon Fisher
HUNGARY, ROMANIA REOPEN TREATY TALKS.
Hungarian Foreign Ministry State
Secretary Ferenc Somogyi and his Romanian counterpart, Marcel Dinu, on 3
November resumed talks aimed at settling sensitive ethnic minority issues and
restarting treaty negotiations. The talks were the first since negotiations on
the Hungarian-Romanian treaty were suspended in July. The two officials
stressed that the negotiations were preliminary and aimed at clarifying
Romanian proposals made in September, including a joint political declaration
and a "code of conduct" on cooperation in the field of national minorities.
Talks on the final texts of the joint agreements are expected to start early
next year, after Hungary makes its own proposals, Dinu said. -- Zsofia
HUNGARIAN WORKERS DEMAND WAGE HIKES.
Following warning strikes in the
energy sector last week, health workers have scheduled a one-day strike for 11
November to demand higher wages, Hungarian media reported. The police plans a
national demonstration on 2 December to press their demands for wage hikes.
Magyar Hirlap reported that three unions-- representing teachers, public
library employees, and university professors--set up a joint strike committee
on 5 November demanding a 25% increase. They say that if the government does
not name a negotiating team within five days, they will stage a nationwide
strike. Finance Minister Lajos Bokros said the government cannot yield to
demands for wage hikes. If it were to do so, it would have to give up plans to
reduce real wages and would be effectively saying the rigorous stabilization
program is unnecessary. -- Zsofia Szilagyi
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 216, 6 November 1995
CROATIAN SERB REBELS SET NEW CONDITIONS.
International media on 5
November reported that Croatian Serb negotiator Milan Milanovic rejected peace
proposals from U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith and UN mediator
Thorvald Stoltenberg. Milanovic represents the Serbs of eastern Slavonia, the
last sliver of the former Krajina still in Serbian hands. He said that any
transition to Croatian rule must be at least three years, while Zagreb wants
two at the most. Milanovic also stated that supervision must be in the hands of
UN troops, not those of NATO, as Croatia demands. The Serbian official also
insisted on a referendum by local Serbs for autonomy, which Zagreb rejects.
Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and his military chief, General Zvonimir
Cervenko, warned again over the weekend that Croatia reserves the right to
restore sovereignty over eastern Slavonia by military means if talks fail. --
BOSNIAN SERBS DEFY U.S. DEMANDS TO DROP LEADERS.
Bosnian Serb Prime
Minister Rajko Kosagic told SRNA on 5 November that his people "will not permit
the Americans or the Muslim authorities of Sarajevo to dictate to us their
choice for (our) leaders. The Serb people will decide themselves, since they
alone can elect or dismiss their representatives." He was apparently responding
to suggestions by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher that indicted war
criminals Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic are unacceptable as postwar
leaders. Kosagic said the U.S. could demand that the two be put on trial for
war crimes, "which would be the equivalent of putting the entire Serb people on
trial for alleged crimes." In another development, AFP on 5 November reported
that the Bosnian Serb army has charged the interior minister with giving an
illegal order to special police units to pull back from front lines. They
demanded that Karadzic overrule the minister. -- Patrick Moore
U.S., UN OFFICIALS SEE CAPTURED JOURNALIST.
Officials on 5 November met
with David Rohde, a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor who
was apparently captured by Bosnian Serbs on 29 October. This was the first
contact Rohde had been allowed to Western representatives, and it came only
after vocal protests by U.S. diplomats at the Dayton peace talks. The officials
said he was healthy but exhausted and serving a 15-day sentence for what SRNA
on 3 November called illegal border crossing and falsifying documents. Rohde
has spearheaded reporting on the Srebrenica massacres of Muslims by Serbs. On
25 October, he ran an article quoting local Serbs as confirming the killings,
for which Rohde said that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic is ultimately
responsible. -- Patrick Moore
NEW CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER APPOINTED.
President Franjo Tudjman has
announced his decision to relieve Prime Minister Nikica Valentic of his duties
and to appoint Zlatko Matesa as his replacement, Novi List reported on 6
November. Matesa will present his new government on 7 November. In Valentic's
government, Matesa was minister in charge of relations with the EU and other
international financial and trade institutions. He said his new cabinet is one
of continuity, but he also underscored his determination to find new ways to
improve the economy. -- Daria Sito Sucic
POWER STRUGGLE WITHIN SERBIAN MEDIA GIANT.
Nasa Borba on 6
November reported that a conflict within the Politika publishing house reached
a "red-hot" pitch over the weekend. Zivorad Minovic, former editor of the daily
Politika from 1985-1991, and Hadzi Dragan Antic, current director of
Politika publishing, appear to be involved in a power struggle. Nasa Borba
speculates that Antic, backed by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, will
likely succeed in ousting his opponent. -- Stan Markotich
GREEK PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA.
Costis Stephanopoulos, on an official visit
to Romania on 2-3 November, addressed the Romanian parliament and met with
President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, and other officials,
Romanian media reported. The two sides signed an agreement on cultural
cooperation. Stephanopoulos, in a private capacity, also visited Iasi, where he
met with members of Romania's Greek minority. -- Michael Shafir
CHINESE OFFICIAL ENDS ROMANIAN VISIT.
Hu Jintao, a member of the
Political Office of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, on 3
November ended an official visit to Romania, Rompres reported on the same day.
Vasile Vacaru, deputy chairman of the major coalition party, the Party of
Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), said his formation has accepted an
invitation to participate in the CCP conference in Bejing in November. The PDSR
and the CCP are to "consolidate" their political cooperation. Hu also met with
Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu and other Romanian officials. -- Michael
ROMANIA TAKES PART IN NATO EXERCISES.
Romania is participating in the
Partnership for Peace naval maneuvers that began in the Aegean Sea on 3
November and will continue until 10 November. Three NATO countries (Greece,
Italy, and the U.S.) are taking part, AFP reported. -- Michael Shafir
MOLDOVAN-UKRAINIAN MILITARY COOPERATION.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense
Minister Ivan Bizhan on 2 November ended a visit to Moldova, BASA-press
reported the next day. A Moldovan Defense Ministry official said the two sides
concluded a protocol on cooperation in logistics and drafted a cooperation plan
for 1996, which is to be signed during Ukrainian Defense Minister Valerii
Shmarov's visiti to Moldova later this month. The plan coordinates transit
operations on the territories of the two states and provides for Moldovan
officers to train at Ukrainian military institutions. -- Michael Shafir
PROTEST DEMONSTRATION IN CHISINAU.
About 3,000 people demonstrated in
Chisinau on 4 November, demanding payment of wage and pension arrears, Interfax
and BASA-press reported. Some people have not received payments for six months.
The demonstration was organized by the Moldovan Independent Trade Union
Federation. The protesters also called for increased government measures to
tackle unemployment and for incomes and bank deposits to be indexed. -- Michael
ECONOMIC DECLINE IN MOLDOVA.
According to data cited by BASA-press on 3
November, Moldova's GDP from January-September 1995 was about 5 billion lei
($1.1 billion), representing a decrease of 8.7% over the same period in 1994.
The government's Department of Statistics said GDP dropped by 19.4% in the
first quarter of 1995, 9.6% in the second quarter, and 1,4% in the third.
Industrial output was 88% of the 1994 level, while agricultural output
registered an 8% drop. Exports dropped by 26% and imports by 12 %. The deficit
in the trade balance rose to 114 million lei ($25 million). -- Michael Shafir
BULGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS UPDATE.
Runoffs for mayoral candidates were
held in some municipalities on 5 November, 24 chasa reported the
following day. In the central Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora, the candidate of
the united opposition, Tsanko Yablanski, won 55.6% of the vote. In most other
towns, a second round will be held on 12 November. Meanwhile, the director of
Plovdiv prison punished inmates awaiting trial by not allowing them to watch a
soccer match on TV because those entitled to vote had unanimously cast their
ballots for the opposition Union of Democratic Forces. -- Stefan Krause in
RAMIZ ALIA FACES NEW TRIAL.
Former Albanian President Ramiz Alia and
Prime Minister Hekuran Isai have been accused of bearing responsibility for the
killing after 1990 of a number of Albanians at the country's borders. Fourteen
families from Kolonja and Delvina have brought charges against the two
communist-era leaders, arguing that since they held the highest positions in
the country, they were responsible for the killing of their relatives, who had
tried to leave the country, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 4 November.
After 1990, the penal code no longer specified leaving the country as "high
treason." -- Fabian Schmidt
ATHENS DEMANDS OPENING OF GREEK SCHOOLS IN ALBANIA.
Shqiptare on 4 November reported on Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos's
"unexpected" demand that Albania open schools for the Greek minority.
Stephanopoulos, in an interview with the Greek daily Ta Nea, said he
would refuse to visit Albania until his demand has been met. Meanwhile,
Republika on 5 November reported on the "massive return of [Albanian]
immigrants from Greece." The paper claims that Greek police continue to
discriminate against Albanian immigrants, noting that about 15 have been
maltreated by law enforcement officials. -- Fabian Schmidt
[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave