OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 231, 29 November 1995
FEDERATION COUNCIL REJECTS DUMA BILL ON ITS FORMATION.
With its term
about to expire, the Federation Council rejected the most recent Duma bill on
the rules of the Council's formation with a vote of 22 to 73 in an emergency
session on 28 November, Russian TV reported. Most senators objected to the Duma
bill on the grounds that they want the upper house to be a full-time
legislature, with each region authorized to send deputies if the heads of local
legislatures and executives choose not to join the body. President Yeltsin's
representative to the Federal Assembly, Aleksandr Yakovlev, said the
president's team supports the Duma version of the law. The Duma needs a
two-thirds majority to override the Council's veto and send the bill to the
president. -- Robert Orttung
RYABOV GIVES OVERVIEW OF ELECTIONS.
The 43 parties registered for the
elections are fielding 5,675 candidates for the 225 seats to be determined by
party list, three times more than in 1993, Central Electoral Commission
Chairman Nikolai Ryabov announced on 28 November. There are some 2,700
candidates running in the single-mandate districts, of which roughly 1,000 are
independents. Seven blocs are the most active in the districts: the Liberal
Democratic Party of Russia (187 candidates), the Communist Party of the Russian
Federation (131), Our Home Is Russia (108), the Congress of Russian Communities
(90), the Agrarian Party (90), Russia's Democratic Choice-United Democrats
(75), and Yabloko (71). The number of candidates in each district ranges from
three to 27, with an average of 12. Women make up 10% of all candidates, while
residents of Moscow make up 20%. Overall, the government has set aside 374
billion rubles ($83 million) for conducting the elections, ITAR-TASS reported.
-- Robert Orttung
YELTSIN DISMISSES HEALTH MINISTER; OTHER GOVERNMENT CHANGES.
Boris Yeltsin signed a decree on 28 November dismissing Health Minister Eduard
Nechaev, ITAR-TASS reported. Nechaev, who was appointed in December 1992 to
replace Andrei Vorobev. Yeltsin also agreed to a proposal from Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin that newly appointed Central Bank Chairman Sergei Dubinin
and Russian Academy of Sciences head Yurii Osipov be given the status of
federal government ministers with the right to full participation in government
meetings. Finally, Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Kuramin to head the State
Committee for Development Questions in the North. Born in 1937 in Saratov
Oblast and an engineer by profession, Kuramin most recently held the post of
first deputy minister for nationalities and regional policies. -- Penny
COMMUNIST SPLITS BENEFIT KRO.
Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov's
recent "non-aggression pact" with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and his
decision to support the government's budget has caused increasing dissension
within Communist ranks, according to an article in Trud on 28 November.
The greatest threat to the party is the growing strength of the Congress of
Russian Communities (KRO), which is attracting discontented Communists. The
paper claims that many of KRO Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Lebed's meetings with
local voters are being arranged by Communist activists, and that the KRO has
taken the "patriotic idea" away from the Communists. For the first time in 18
months, Public Opinion Foundation polls show that the Communists are falling in
the polls. Further evidence of the split among the Communists can be found in
Pravda which has recently published both articles that praise KRO and
others that denounce it. -- Robert Orttung
KHABAROVSK GOVERNOR FAVORS CREATION OF FAR EASTERN REPUBLIC.
Krai Governor Viktor Ishaev said he was in favor of creating a Far Eastern
republic, Izvestiya reported on 29 November. He said Khabarovsk has to
send 50% of its tax receipts to the federal budget, while the ethnically-based
republics pay less than 25%. He regards this a violation of the constitution,
which declares the equal rights of all federation's constituent members. "We do
not want to secede from Russia," Ishaev said, but raising the status of the
region to the level of republic may be the only way to improve its economic
situation. Decrees issued by President Yeltsin ordering increased asistance to
the far east are not being implemented by executive authorities, he added. --
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES ON FEDERATION MEMBERS' NAMES.
Constitutional Court has ruled that the president has no authority to refuse
name changes proposed by subject-regions of the Russian Federation, and that he
must formally sign them into the constitution, ITAR-TASS reported on 28
November. Last week, a group of Duma deputies asked the court to clarify
Article 137 of the constitution. According to this law, each federation member
is free to change its name, although they are prohibited from choosing names
which include such phrases as "Islamic republic" or "soviet," because they
violate constitutional principles. -- Anna Paretskaya
RUSSIA AND U.S. COMPROMISE ON MISSILE DEFENSES.
U.S. officials announced
an agreement with Russia that partially resolves a dispute over the terms of
the 1972 ABM Treaty, Western agencies reported on 28 November. U.S.
Undersecretary of State Lynn Davis and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgii
Mamedov agreed that only systems which could intercept missiles with a velocity
greater than 5 km/second or a range of more than 3,500 km would violate the
treaty, while those which target missiles travelling at less than 3 km/second
would not. The agreement will allow the U.S. to proceed with the development of
"tactical" defenses against short-range ballistic missiles, which Russia had
contended would undermine the treaty. The agreement still leaves some issues
unresolved, such as what to do with planned U.S. defensive systems with
velocities greater than 3 km/second but lower than 5 km/second. -- Scott
KOZYREV CRITICIZES U.S. DIPLOMAT'S ARTICLE.
Speaking at a 28 November
press conference, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev sharply criticized Thomas
Graham, a political officer at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, for his recent
article in Nezavisimaya gazeta, Russian and Western agencies reported
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 November 1995). Kozyrev expressed surprise at
the article's content, saying, "some of its theses are somewhat unusual to come
from an official." The State Department has defended the controversial article
as expressing only Graham's personal views, not those of the U.S. government.
-- Scott Parrish
GROMOV BLASTS NATO MISSION IN BOSNIA.
The Russian Foreign Ministry's
chief military adviser, Col. Gen. Boris Gromov, blasted NATO's planned
peacekeeping operation in Bosnia as an attempt to expand the Western alliance
eastward, according to an interview published in Komsomolskaya pravda on
28 November. Gromov, who also heads the My Fatherland electoral bloc, said
NATO's deployment in Bosnia will bring it closer to Russia's borders, a move he
views as a "violation of the existing European balance." Gromov criticized the
command arrangements for Russian participation in the operation, saying they
are tantamount to placing Russian troops under NATO command. -- Constantine
RUSSIA TO HAVE A VOICE IN NATO BOSNIAN DECISIONS.
NATO agreed on 28
November to give Russia a voice--but not a veto--over the political control of
the Bosnian peace implementation force, Western agencies reported. Russian
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and his U.S. counterpart, William Perry,
unveiled the accord at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Vitalii Churkin, Russia's
ambassador to NATO, has been appointed Moscow's official liaison to the North
Atlantic Council, the body that will make the political decisions. "Everything
is all right at this stage," Grachev said. "Now all we need is the formal
approval by the NATO council and the Russian political leadership. I have no
doubt that these will be approved in due time." He said that Russia would
contribute a brigade of about 1,500 soldiers to the force and another 1,500 to
participate in civil clean-up operations. -- Doug Clarke
RUSSIA AGAIN PLEDGES TO HALT PLUTONIUM PRODUCTION.
Russia will halt the
production of weapons-grade plutonium by 2000, Nuclear Energy Minister Viktor
Mikhailov said on 27 November. He said the last three reactors producing
plutonium--two in Tomsk-7 and one in Krasnoyarsk-26--would be converted to
solely peaceful purposes, ITAR-TASS reported. In 1994, Russia announced it
would no longer fully process the weapons-grade plutonium at those sites and
would place it in storage and in June of that year it agreed with the U.S. to
shut down the three reactors by 2000 provided alternative energy sources would
be made available. U.S. officials have been denied permission to visit the
militarily sensitive reactors and several Western experts have suggested that
they are unsafe. -- Doug Clarke
COSSACK POGROM IN KUBAN TARGETS MESKHETIANS.
Cossacks in the Krasnodar
area have staged several progroms against Meskhetian Turks, Nezavisimaya
gazeta reported on 28 November. On 11, 12, and again on 19 November,
Cossacks attacked local Meskhetian Turks in their rural homes, beating them and
burning at least one house. Local doctors refused to treat their injuries,
saying that the Turks do not have permanent residency status. The Cossacks say
the Turks, "are foreigners and occupy the living space of Russians." Meskhetian
Turks had been forcibly resetlled under Stalin from Georgia to Uzbekistan.
After Uzbeks launched pogroms against them in 1989, 208,000 of them left, and
70,000 now live in Russia. Their appeals to be allowed to return to Georgia
remain unanswered. -- Alaina Lemon
RUSSIAN BANKS CHALLENGE PRIVATIZATION AUCTIONS.
Three of Russia's
largest banks (Rossiiskii kredit, Inkombank, and Alfabank) have issued a letter
criticizing the government's privatization program, NTV reported on 27
November. The banks claim that poor preparation of the current round of
investment tenders and auctions "is leading to irretrievable losses for the
Russian economy." They urged the suspension of the share/loan auctions and
warned that Menatep bank is over-extended, with loan guarantees amounting to
$600 million. A Menatep vice president said on Russian Public TV (ORT) on 28
November that the three banks were complaining "simply because they have no
money" to participate in the auctions. -- Peter Rutland
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 231, 29 November 1995
ECONOMIC REFORM PLAN APPROVED IN KAZAKHSTAN.
The government of
Kazakhstan accepted an economic reform plan extending through 1998 and a draft
budget for 1996 at a 28 November session, Interfax reported. Kazakhstani Prime
Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin pledged to continue macroeconomic stabilization
and economic restructuring. The program aims to bring inflation below 12% in
1998, a significant drop from the 42.4% it ran in the first 10 months of 1995.
It is hoped that next year's inflation rate will be 26% to 28%, while the tenge
will drop from 63.3 to $1 down to 71 to $1. GDP should reach 1.31 trillion
tenge. -- Bruce Pannier
TAJIK BORDER GUARDS CLAIM 700 FROM OPPOSITION KILLED THIS YEAR.
of the Russian Border Guards, General Pavel Tarasenko, said on 28 November that
so far this year, guards along the Afghan-Tajik border have killed at least 681
Islamic rebels, according to Western sources. Tarasenko added that 62 border
guards had also been killed, 20 of them Russians. At a 28 November news
conference, the Russian Border Guards produced two of the six opposition
militants allegedly handed over to them by Afghan border commissioners,
Interfax reported. The two men confessed to taking part in a 10 October attack
in which eight Russians were killed. The two also claimed they had acted under
orders from United Tajik Opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri and had been
trained in Afghanistan by Iranian, Pakistani, and Arab instructors. All six
could face the death penalty. -- Bruce Pannier
FATE OF UZBEK CLERIC STILL UNKNOWN.
Repeated requests for information on
the whereabouts of Abduvali Mirzayev are still being met with silence from the
Uzbek government, Reuters reported on 29 November. Mirzayev was last seen at
the Tashkent airport on 29 August, when he was taken into custody by Uzbek
security (see OMRI Daily Digest 16 October 1995). Mirzayev's assistant,
Abdukarim Ramazanbeki, was also abducted at the airport. Family and members of
the Juma Mosque in Andijan, where Mirzayev is the imam, report that they are
harassed if they openly appeal to the government and have been denied
permission to publicly demonstrate. This is not the first time religious
officials have been taken into custody. Abdulla Utayev of Namangan, head of the
Islamic Renaissance Party, has not been seen since his arrest in December 1992.
-- Roger Kangas
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 231, 29 November 1995
UKRAINE ON SENDING TROOPS TO BOSNIA, ANGOLA.
Defense Minister Valerii
Shmarov told a news conference on 27 November that Ukraine is willing to send
Ukrainian peacekeepers to enforce the Dayton accord in Bosnia, but not under
NATO command, UNIAN reported. He said Kiev has proposed to place Ukrainian
troops under separate French command, although NATO would retain overall
control of the mission. Shmarov also said that Ukraine has agreed to a UN
proposal to send 1,200 engineers to Angola. Meanwhile, international agencies
reported Shmarov as saying Kiev would follow Moscow's lead and seek relief from
some restrictions in the 1990 CFE treaty. While Ukraine has met most CFE
targets in arms cuts and troop reductions, the defense minister hopes to
strengthen its military presence on the southern flank, bordering the Black
Sea, Moldova, and Romania. -- Chrystyna Lapychak
OCSE OFFICIAL SUGGESTS CRIMEA RETAIN QUOTAS FOR ETHNIC MINORITIES.
High Commissioner on Ethnic Minorities Max van der Stoel has recommended in a
letter to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennadii Udovenko that Crimea retain
quotas for ethnic minorities for representation in the regional legislature,
Ukrainian TV reported on 27 November. The quota system, which until recently
provided for 14 seats in the 98-member Crimean assembly to be reserved for
Crimean Tatar representatives, was left out of the new Crimean Constitution,
prompting protests by the Tatar minority. The quotas set aside one seat each
for the Bulgarian, German, Greek, and Armenian minorities on the peninsula. --
BELARUS PRESIDENT'S ALLEGED PRAISE FOR HITLER CAUSES CONTROVERSY.
Opposition parties in Belarus have blasted Alyaksandr Lukashenka over a
leaked interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt in which he
praised Hitler, Western agencies reported on 28 November. Izvestiya,
citing a Belarusian Radio broadcast, quotes Lukashenka as saying "Germany
was once built up out of the ruins with the help of a strong hand. Not
everything that was connected to a certain Adolf Hitler in Germany was bad."
Opposition leaders said the president's comments showed a lack of respect for
the many victims of World War II. A presidential spokesman said that the
controversy was a "ruse that was circulated by the Belarus nationalists on the
eve of the run-off [parliamentary] elections." -- Saulius Girnius
LITHUANIA ORDERS REGISTRATION OF ALL EXPLOSIVES.
Prompted by the 70 or
so bombings this year, the Lithuanian government on 27 November issued a decree
ordering the registration of all explosive materials, BNS and Western agencies
reported the next day. The decree says that people will not be punished for
illegal possession of explosives if they are voluntarily handed over to the
police. The authorities' inability to stop the bombings has been severely
criticized and led to an abortive parliamentary vote of no confidence in
Interior Minister Romasis Vaitekunas on 28 November The minister remained in
office since the ruling Democratic Labor Party decided not to participate in
the vote. -- Saulius Girnius
RESIGNATION OF POLISH KEY MINISTERS ACCEPTED.
Polish Prime Minister
Jozef Oleksy on 28 November accepted the resignations of Foreign Minister
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski, and
Defense Minister Zbigniew Okonski. The three ministers asked for their
resignations to take effect on 20 December, two days before the inauguration of
President-elect Aleksander Kwasniewski. Under Polish constitutional law, the
holders of all three portfolios are appointed after consultations with the
president. Oleksy said that, despite speculation to the contrary, it "would be
quite astonishing" if the three posts were offered to members of the
opposition, Polish dailies reported on 29 November. -- Jakub Karpinski
WALESA MEETS WITH OPPOSITION LEADERS.
Polish President Lech Walesa has
begun talks with leaders of the opposition parties. On 28 November, he met with
the Freedom Union leaders Leszek Balcerowicz and Bronislaw Geremek. Balcerowicz
said that an agreement was possible between his party and the four opposition
groups not represented in the Sejm. According to Rzeczpospolita on 29
November, Walesa said he had different ideas. The daily suggests the
possibility of creating a Walesa-led political institute reminiscent of the
"citizens' committees" founded in 1989. -- Jakub Karpinski
CZECH REPUBLIC JOINS OECD.
Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec and
Jean-Claude Paye, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development, on 28 November signed documents admitting the
Czech Republic as the first post-communist country to the OECD. The Czech
parliament is expected to ratify the agreements in December, after which the
Czech Republic will become the OECD's 26th member. Following the signing
ceremony at OECD headquarters in Paris, Zieleniec said being accepted into the
organization signified that industrialized countries valued the Czech
Republic's successful economic development since 1989, Czech media reported. --
SLOVAK PRESIDENT SIGNS LANGUAGE LAW . . .
Michal Kovac on 28 November
signed the controversial law making Slovak the only official language in
Slovakia and restricting the use of other languages in public life. According
to presidential spokesman Vladimir Stefko, Kovac considers the law "necessary
and important" in fulfilling the constitutional article stating that Slovak is
the "state language on Slovak territory," Sme reported. Kovac signed the
law, despite the fact that the parliament has not yet passed a bill on minority
languages; but he said he received a promise from Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar that the cabinet would submit such a bill to the parliament in the near
future. -- Sharon Fisher
. . . AS OPPOSITION THREATENS TO APPEAL.
Frantisek Miklosko, deputy
chairman of the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), told Reuters
that his party does not understand why Kovac signed the law "in the hope that
Meciar would keep his promise." Miklosko said his party considers it "a bad
law," and he noted that the KDH will challenge it in the Constitutional Court.
Representatives of the Hungarian coalition called the law unconstitutional and
also promised to appeal. According to Stefko, if the government does not submit
the minority languages bill shortly or if the rights of minorities are limited
before it is passed, Kovac will take the law to court. -- Sharon Fisher
HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES TRANSIT OF NATO TROOPS.
parliament on 28 November overwhelmingly gave its assent for the Nato
Implementation Force (IFOR) to transit Hungarian territory, establish logistics
bases, and use Hungarian airspace and designated airports before performing
peacekeeping operations in Bosnia, Hungarian media reported. MTI quotes
"reliable sources" as saying that a technical team of 200-300 Hungarian
soldiers will take part in the peacekeeping operations by building and guarding
a bridge along a stretch of the Sava River. NATO requested the participation of
Hungarian troops when Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs visited Brussels last
week. In an opinion poll conducted in Hungary the same day, the majority of
respondents were opposed to the idea. -- Zsofia Szilagyi
NEW HUNGARIAN MINISTERS.
Socialist deputy Peter Kiss was sworn into
office on 28 November as minister of labor beginning 1 December, Hungarian
media reported. He replaces Magda Kosa Kovacs, who resigned in late September.
Balint Magyar of the SZDSZ is that party's nominee for minister of culture and
education, replacing fellow party member Gabor Fodor, Nepszabadsag
reported on 29 November. Fodor resigned last week after disagreeing with a
government decision to cut state funds. Hungary's stabilization program has
prompted six ministers to leave the cabinet so far this year. -- Zsofia
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 231, 29 November 1995
KARADZIC SAYS HE BACKS DAYTON AGREEMENT.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic told CNN on 28 November that he supports the peace pact. He added,
however, that time would be needed for its implementation and that his
government would have to build new housing for Serbs from Sarajevo and other
areas assigned to the Croat-Muslim federation. He used a conciliatory tone and
avoided the bluster and references to bloodbaths that characterized his spate
of interviews in recent days. Karadzic said that U.S. troops did not have to
worry about "incidents" if they "came as friends." -- Patrick Moore
GERMAN CABINET DECIDES TO SEND TROOPS TO BOSNIA.
The German cabinet on
28 November decided to send 4,000 troops to the former Yugoslavia, Western
agencies reported the next day. The troops will consist largely of auxiliary
personnel, including medical and transport units, and for the first time will
be guarded by their own troops. To date, Germany has avoided sending combat
troops to the former Yugoslavia because of sensitivities over World War II. The
troops will be based in Croatia. The Bundestag is expected to endorse the
cabinet's decision next week. The opposition Social Democrats have said they
will vote for the deployment. -- Michael Mihalka
PRO-PALE SERBS TO LEAVE SARAJEVO?
UN officials in Sarajevo said tens of
thousands of Bosnian Serbs would rather leave than live in the Muslim-Croat
Federation, Nasa Borba reported on 28 November. A UNHCR spokesman
estimated that 40,000-60,000 Serbs live in the Serb-controlled part of the city
(Bosnian Serb leaders put the figure at 120,000-150,000). He added that they do
not trust the Bosnian government, despite its call for Serbian civilians to
stay in their homes. It is unclear how the Bosnian government intends to
differentiate between those who actively participated in the war and those who
did not. Meanwhile, pro-government Serbs in Sarajevo have urged fellow Serbs in
the Pale-controlled parts of Sarajevo to accept the Dayton agreement and not be
manipulated by Pale, the BBC reported, quoting Radio Sarajevo. -- Daria Sito
TURKISH PREMIER IN BOSNIAN CAPITAL.
Tansu Ciller on 28 November paid a
one-day working visit to Sarajevo aimed at investigating how Turkey can
contribute to Bosnia's postwar reconstruction, international media reported.
She noted that Turkey was prepared to help train Bosnian soldiers, and she
opened a branch office of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, to be run by the
Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency. Her visit is part of an effort to
highlight Turkey's ties to Bosnian Muslims in the run-up to parliamentary
elections scheduled for 24 December. -- Lowell Bezanis
SERBIAN PRESIDENT PURGES PARTY OF "HARDLINERS."
Tanjug on 28 November
reported that a number of top-level nationalist leaders of the ruling Socialist
Party of Serbia (SPS) were removed from their posts on the eve of the rump
Yugoslavia's national holiday. According to the news agency, three prominent
hardliners were sacked from executive ranks to be replaced by purported
moderates. Mihailo Markovic and Borisav Jovic, long-time aides of Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic who helped found the party, were removed as vice
presidents, while Milorad Vucelic was ousted as leader of the SPS in the
parliament. Replacing them are Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic, former
Premier Nikola Sainovic, and federal President Zoran Lilic. AFP reported that
Jovic said in an interview with Radio B 92 that he had no idea what prompted
the dismissals. -- Stan Markotich
The Croatian Sabor (the lower house of the parliament)
on 28 November unanimously elected Vlatko Pavletic as its speaker,
Vjesnik reported. The new government won a vote of confidence by 77 to
five with 39 abstentions. Hina reported that opposition parties criticized the
government for failing to present its economic program and demanded that the
Sabor discuss the Dayton peace agreement. Also on 28 November, Pavletic
received a delegation of Bosnian Posavina expellees, who staged a protest rally
outside Zagreb's town hall. Some 170,000 Croats lived in Bosnian Posavina
before the war; about 3,000 Muslims and Croats are estimated to have lost their
lives in its defense. -- Daria Sito Sucic
DID TUDJMAN SELL OUT POSAVINA CROATS?
Evidence continues to mount that
the Croats at the Dayton conference made little or no effort to regain the
Posavina. Bosnian Croat leader Kresimir Zubak told Novi list on 29
November that the delegation split over the Posavina question. Zubak is from
northern Bosnia and opposes the agreement. Hina quoted Bosnian Prime Minister
Haris Silajdzic as saying that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic got up at
the opening session and "in front of everybody said that there existed an
agreement with the Croats about the area and that there was nothing left to
discuss." Silajdzic added that the Americans provided the Croat-Muslim
federation with crucial support on the questions of Sarajevo, Gorazde, and the
constitution, but "where there was no American support, we didn't get what we
wanted." -- Patrick Moore
SLOVENIA OPPOSES BELGRADE'S ATTEMPTS TO ASSERT JURISDICTION OVER ASSETS.
Hina on 28 November reported that representatives from Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia met in Ljubljana to discuss and coordinate
strategies aimed at countering Belgrade's efforts to assert control over access
to foreign assets once held by the former Yugoslavia. With the recent
suspension of sanctions, Belgrade is apparently attempting to gain control over
foreign-currency and gold reserves. Slovenia's Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler
said "the succession issue should be discussed apart from the peace process. It
has nothing to with war in Bosnia." He also observed that all of the Yugoslav
successor states should have an equal say over the contested assets. -- Stan
ROMANIAN PREMIER IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.
Nicolae Vacaroiu on 27-28 November
paid an official visit to Serbia and Montenegro, Radio Bucharest reported. He
was accompanied by Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and Trade Minister Petru
Crisan. In a series of interviews, Vacaroiu stressed it was the first visit
paid by a head of government to that country since the lifting of U.S.
sanctions. He also said the talks focused on resuming traditionally close
economic ties, and he expressed hopes that bilateral trade would reach $1
billion a year. Vacaroiu met with senior officials, including Yugoslav
President Zoran Lilic and the presidents of Serbia and Montenegro, Slobodan
Milosevic and Momcilo Bulatovic. The two sides signed a series of bilateral
agreements, including one on promoting and protecting mutual investments. --
STUDENTS, TEACHERS DEMONSTRATE IN BUCHAREST.
Thousands of Romanian
teachers protested in Bucharest on 28 November over low pay and the poor state
of education, Radio Bucharest and international media reported. The teachers
were joined by Bucharest University students, who have resumed earlier protest
actions against a controversial education law (see OMRI Daily Digest,
18-20 October 1995). Representatives of teachers' trade unions handed over
their demands to the Government, and agreed to start negotiations next week.
Meanwhile, the Senate adopted a set of modifications to the education law,
already passed by the Chamber of Deputies. According to a senate official, most
of the students' claims were thus met. -- Matyas Szabo
MOLDOVAN-DNIESTER SUMMIT CALLED OFF.
Moldovan President Mircea Snegur
and the president of the self-styled Dniester republic, Igor Smirnov, have
called off a meeting scheduled for 29 November, BASA-press reported. Dniester
Vice President Aleksandr Karaman was quoted as blaming Chisinau for allegedly
presenting Tiraspol with "unacceptable proposals and ultimatums." Chisinau
repeatedly signaled its willingness to grant the breakaway region broad
autonomy, but Tiraspol insists on full recognition of its independent
statehood. -- Dan Ionescu
BULGARIAN ETHNIC TURKISH PARTY ASKS PRESIDENT FOR HELP.
Council of the Movement for Rights and Freedom (DPS) on 28 November asked
President Zhelyu Zhelev to assist in the "normalization of the situation" in
Kardzhali, Standart reported the following day. Rasim Musa of the DPS
was elected mayor of that city, but the governing Bulgarian Socialist Party
(BSP) demanded that the election be invalidated (see OMRI Daily Digest,
20 November 1995). The Municipal Electoral Commission declared the elections
valid and the Regional Court in Kardzhali rejected the BSP's petition.
Nonetheless, the government-appointed provincial governor has so far not
confirmed Musa's election or called a meeting of the city council,
Demokratsiya reported. -- Stefan Krause
TURKISH POLICY SHIFT ON CFE?
Ankara has announced its willingness to
accept an unspecified modification in the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty,
Turkish and Western media reported on 28 November. Turkey previously was
adamantly opposed to any modification of the treaty. An unnamed official told
AFP that Turkey may accept such changes as long as they meet its security
needs. -- Lowell Bezanis
BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION.
Parliamentary delegations from 11
countries participating in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization met
in Ankara on 28 November, international media reported. The meeting opened with
an appeal for closer cooperation. Turkey's parliamentary chairman, Ismet Sezgin
reproached Russia for hosting a session of the Kurdish parliament-in-exile,
while Gennadii Seleznev, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on
Information Policy and Communication, said the event was in keeping with
pluralism and democracy in Russia, Yeni Yuzyil reported on 29 November.
-- Lowell Bezanis
[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave