RYBKIN CLAIMS COURT MAY EXAMINE VALIDITY OF ELECTIONS.
Speaker Ivan Rybkin said 21 December that the Constitutional Court may examine
the validity of the election returns since the four parties that won more than
5% of the vote collectively received less than 50% of all the votes cast.
Common Cause's Irina Khakamada also voiced support for such an appeal, while
the Congress of Russian Communities' Sergei Glazev and Derzhava's Aleksandr
Rutskoi claimed that the results do not reflect the number of votes they had
actually received, Russian TV reported. The Central Electoral Commission has
yet to report the final results of the party-list vote, fostering speculation
about possible falsifications, according to the 21-27 December issue of
Obshchaya gazeta. -- Robert Orttung
GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER SAYS MAJORITY VOTED FOR REFORMS.
extraordinary interpretation of the election results, a commentary in the
official government newspaper Rossiiskaya gazeta argued on 22 December
that the majority of Russians voted "for reforms." Aleksei Kiva argued that
people are "beginning to believe in democratic institutions" instead of rushing
"to the barricades." He also said voters did not choose a return to the past,
in that even Communist Party (KPRF) leader Gennadii Zyuganov recognizes the
need for private property and civil rights. The author said many people split
their vote, declining to vote for pro-reform blocs in the party-list ballot but
supporting individual reformers like Sergei Kovalev and Sergei Yushenkov. (In
fact, the KPRF won 58 of the 225 single-member districts, while Russia's
Democratic Choice won only nine and Our Home Is Russia won 10). Rossiiskaya
gazeta resumed publication on 22 December, three days after editor Anatolii
Yurkov announced that financial difficulties were forcing the paper to suspend
publication. -- Laura Belin
SHUMEIKO MOVEMENT HOLDS FOUNDING CONGRESS.
Federation Council Speaker
Vladimir Shumeiko's Reform-New Course movement held its founding congress on 21
December and discussed nominating Boris Yeltsin as its presidential candidate
in 1996, NTV reported. Shumeiko said that "changing the course of reform does
not mean changing the government," Russian TV reported. The president's
relations to the movement are unclear. Although Yeltsin had earlier said the
movement was "no good," he sent greetings to the congress and expressed the
hope that it would be a "significant political force." Federation Council
Deputy Yelena Mizulina suggested that some members of the movement support
Grigorii Yavlinskii for president. -- Robert Orttung
YELTSIN VETOES LAW BANNING ORT.
As expected, President Boris Yeltsin
vetoed the law on reorganization, privatization, and liquidation of state radio
and television companies passed by the Duma on 24 November and approved by the
Federation Council on 9 December, ITAR-TASS reported on 21 December. The
president vetoed a similar measure in June. In particular, the law would have
suspended the creation of Russian Public TV (ORT), created as part of a
November 1994 presidential decree ordering the restructuring of Ostankino. ORT
has broadcast on Channel 1 since 1 April, and Ostankino was liquidated under a
6 October presidential decree. -- Laura Belin
HEAVY FIGHTING IN GUDERMES.
Fighting continued in the city of Gudermes,
40 km east of the Chechen capital Grozny, NTV reported on 21 December. One
hundred federal troops remain trapped in the city's railway station. Nearly
half the city's 50,000 inhabitants are reported to have fled. Having besieged
government positions for a week, Dudaev's forces were reportedly trying to
break out of the ring of federal units which now surrounds the city. The
fighting is thought to have claimed at least 100 lives. Chechen fighters also
continue to occupy the towns of Urus Martan and Achkhoi Martan. -- Scott
Parrish and Peter Rutland
SHIPYARD WORKERS END BLOCKADE OF SUBMARINE.
Shipyard workers at the
naval yard in Polyarnyi, on the Kola Peninsula, have ended their three-day
blockade of a nuclear-powered submarine, ITAR-TASS reported on 21 December.
Complaining that they had not been paid since August, the workers had prevented
the repaired submarine from leaving the yard. Russian TV reported on 21
December that the Northern Fleet threatened to initiate criminal proceedings
against them and to switch off heat supplies to the 30,000 inhabitants of the
city (the temperature being minus 30 degrees C). The workers gave in when they
were promised that September's wages will be paid within four days. -- Doug
Clarke and Peter Rutland
FOREIGN MINISTRY: NO SHIFT AFTER ELECTIONS.
Foreign Ministry spokesman
Grigorii Karasin said at a 21 December Moscow press conference that the victory
of communist and nationalist parties in the 17 December Duma elections would
not trigger any significant changes in Russian foreign policy, ITAR-TASS
reported. Karasin said that as before the election, President Yeltsin would
direct foreign policy, not the Duma. He added that Russia's "foreign partners"
should expect continuity, although he admitted that the new Duma would exert
influence on some aspects of Russian policy and promised Yeltsin would take
into account the opinions of the new Duma majority. On the same day, U.S.
President Bill Clinton said the results of the elections "would not in any way
affect our relations with Russia." -- Scott Parrish
PRIMAKOV OUTLINES GOALS OF RUSSIAN FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE.
a 21 December Moscow meeting marking the 75th anniversary of the Russian
Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), its director, Yevgenii Primakov, declared
that NATO expansion would create a "security threat" for Russia, Western and
Russian agencies reported. Primakov said that trying to understand the "true
motives" of those who advocate NATO enlargement is a key task of the SVR, and
added his agency would seek to block the alliance's expansion while trying to
establish good relations with former Cold War adversaries. Primakov admitted
that Russia no longer had an obvious "main opponent" but said Russian policy
should seek to prevent the emergence of a global hegemony, a thinly veiled
reference to the U.S. Primakov also noted the importance of combating the
threat to Russian national security and territorial integrity posed by
ethno-national conflicts and terrorism. -- Scott Parrish
RUSSIAN-ESTONIAN BORDER TALKS ADJOURN.
negotiations ended in St. Petersburg on 21 December without producing agreement
on the disputed boundary between the two countries, Russian and Western
agencies reported. Russian delegation head Vasilii Svirin told ITAR-TASS that
some progress had been made on border demarcation, the rights of citizens of
both countries living near the border, and other issues, adding that talks
would resume in Tallinn on 25 January. However, the Russian diplomat criticized
Estonia, saying the dispute could only be resolved if neither country had any
territorial claims on the other. Estonia claims the border should be based on
the 1920 Tartu treaty, which would result in the transfer to Estonia of about
2,000 sq. km. of territory that has been under Russian jurisdiction since WW
II. -- Scott Parrish
CORRUPT OFFICIALS RELEASE CRIMINAL KINGPINS.
Since the beginning of
1995, 25 crime bosses (vory v zakone) have been held in pre-trail
detention centers in Moscow, eight of whom have been released on bail,
Segodnya and Komsomolskaya pravda reported on 21 December.
Vladislav Selivanov, the deputy head of the Interior Ministry's Organized Crime
Department in Moscow, said the immunity of criminal leaders is due to the
"extremely high degree of corruption of the authorities." Police say about half
the earnings of criminal groups is used to bribe state officials, judges, and
journalists. -- Penny Morvant
ECONOMIC ISSUES FACING DUMA.
Commentators agree that the Duma will have
very little scope to alter the government's economic policy over the next six
months and will probably focus on maneuvering for the presidential elections.
Speaking on Radio Rossii on 21 December, Aleksandr Privalov suggested that the
Duma will challenge the government on four issues: social support for the
poorer sections of society; privatization and deprivatization; the role of
foreign capital; and the reintroduction of price regulation and state
purchases. -- Peter Rutland
GOVERNMENT REJECTS DRAFT REGIONAL POLICY.
A 21 December meeting of the
government chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets rejected the
draft regional policy document prepared by the Nationalities Ministry,
Rossiiskaya gazeta reported on 22 December. Participants in the meeting,
which included regional administration heads, complained that the document does
not contain a unified governmental policy, only policies for individual
sectoral ministries. There was no agreement on how to restore central
authority, but there was a consensus of sorts on the need "to support certain
regions that can function as the engine pulling the national economy out of
recession," Russian Public TV (ORT) reported on 21 December. Speaking on NTV on
21 December, academic Sergei Mitrokhin argued that "at present the government
simply does not have a regional policy." -- Peter Rutland
ITALIAN COMPANIES TO MANAGE REGIONAL INVESTMENT FUND.
companies, SOFIPA and IRITEX, have won a tender to manage a $50 million
investment fund for small business development in Vologda, Novgorod, Pskov, and
Tver oblasts, Delovoi ekspress reported on 21 December. The fund is one
of 11 regional investment funds set up in Russia by the G-7 states. Seven of
the funds are financed by individual countries and four by the EU. -- Natalia
KARIMOV SACKS PRIME MINISTER.
The Uzbek Oily Majilis dismissed Prime
Minister Abdulkhosim Mutalov on 21 December, a decision prompted by President
Islam Karimov. Previously, Karimov noted that "a fresh approach to the economy"
is needed, especially with respect to stabilization measures and increasing
foreign trade. Recently, Uzbekistan has experienced monetary problems, with the
black market rate for the sum at 50 to $1 compared with the official rate of 36
to $1. Mutalov's replacement, the 46-year-old Utkir Sultanov, is an experienced
politician and knowledgeable about economic matters, having held the post of
foreign economic relations minister. With the dismissal of Mulatov, Karimov has
almost completely removed the core of supporters he had when he rose to power,
which included such officials as former Vice President Shukhrulla Mirsaidov,
former Justice Minister and Ambassador the U.S. Babur Malikov, and former
Foreign Minister Said-Mukhtar Saidkasimov. -- Roger Kangas
REGIONAL SHAKE-UP IN UZBEKISTAN.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov replaced
the hokims of two wilayatlar, or regions, in Uzbekistan late last month, RFE/RL
reported. The local governments in Samarkand and Kashkadarya have been the
subject of much criticism in recent weeks, for delays of up to six months in
the payment of wages. The new hokim for Samarkand is former Justice Minister
Alisher Mardiyev, a close ally of Karimov, and Azat Fermanov will take over on
Kashkadarya. Karimov himself is from Samarkand and had political experience in
Kashkadarya--regions which were thought to be strongly supportive of his
administration. Sirajuddin Mirsafayev will take over from Mardiyev at the
Justice Ministry. -- Roger Kangas
KAZAKHSTAN ELECTION ROUNDUP.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev issued a
decree that grants him the right to remove any minister or replace the entire
government "on his own initiative," ITAR-TASS reported on 20 December. The
decree also bars ministers from being deputies in any representative body.
Meanwhile, the Central Electoral Commission reported that of the 32 Majilis
deputies elected, 26 are Kazakhs, four Russians, one Ukrainian, and one Korean.
No candidates have been elected from Akmola, North Kazakhstan, and Torgai
oblasts. Only one out of three Majilis seats have been filled in Kokshetau and
Semipalatinsk oblasts, both by independent candidates; and two out of the four
candidates elected in East Kazakhstan oblast are non-government candidates,
denoting a unhappiness with the government's policies in the Russian-dominated
eastern and northern regions of the country. Run-off elections for 24 Majilis
seats and re-elections to another seat are to be held on 23 December. -- Bhavna
Dave in Almaty and Bruce Pannier
ONE LAST APPEAL BEFORE KYRGYZ ELECTION.
The three candidates who were
disqualified from running in the 24 December Kyrgyz presidential election
called off their hunger strike on 21 December, while still calling for the
elections to be recognized as unconstitutional, RFE/RL reported. The three
candidacies were rejected after the Central Electoral Commission ruled that
some of the 50,000 signatures they had collected were forged. -- Bruce
GEORGIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST REQUESTS ASYLUM IN GERMANY.
Kervalishvili, president of the Georgian Association for the Protection of
Human Rights, met the German deputy ambassador to Georgia and handed him a
letter addressed to Chancellor Helmut Kohl and requesting political asylum in
Germany, Iprinda news agency reported on 20 December. In his conversation with
the deputy ambassador, Kervalishvili said that basic human rights are still
being violated in Georgia and that he himself is under "constant moral and
psychological pressure from the authorities." -- Irakli Tsereteli
UKRAINIAN NAVY ON LATEST BLACK SEA FLEET DISPUTE.
The Ukrainian Defense
Ministry press service, responding to acting Black Sea Fleet Commander Petr
Svyatashov's statement blaming Ukraine's navy for a skirmish on 17 December
over a food depot in Donuzlav (see OMRI Daily Digest, 18 December)
accused the Black Sea Fleet command of "deliberate provocation," UNIAN reported
on 21 December. Svyatashov said the incident came about because two separate
navies share the same territory and because of poor control in Ukrainian naval
units. The Ukrainian side claimed the incident was the result of reluctance on
the part of some Black Sea Fleet officers to recognize the transfer of fleet
facilities to Ukraine's navy. It also denied that there had been any attempt to
seize facilities. According to Segodnya on 20 December, Russian navy
commander Admiral Feliks Gromov sent a message to the fleet command stating
that all facilities in Sevastopol and some in other areas will continue to be
used by the fleet after 1 January, the date on which joint Ukrainian-Russian
control of the fleet expires. -- Ustina Markus
ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT RATIFIES AGREEMENTS WITH RUSSIA.
parliament on 20 December ratified the two agreements signed by Russian and
Estonian Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Lennart Meri in July 1994, BNS reported
the next day. The parliament, however, added four explanatory declarations to
the agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops. The agreement on military
pensioners was also complemented, with a declaration stating that it applied
only to military personnel in Estonia who had received pensions from Russian
sources before the signing of the agreement. -- Saulius Girnius
LATVIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES NEW GOVERNMENT.
The Saeima on 21 December
voted 70 to 24 to approve the government of 37-year-old businessman Andris
Skele, BNS reported. Previous attempts to form a government by the rightist
National Bloc and leftist National Conciliation Bloc failed by small margins;
Skele, who has no party affiliation, was thus selected as a compromise
candidate. He formed a government with the approval of six of the nine parties
in the parliament, five of which have a deputy prime minister in the cabinet.
Skele told the Saeima that his economic goals are to maintain the stability of
the lats, balance the budget, and improve the investment climate. He added he
will continue to strive for membership in the European Union and NATO, while
maintaining a stable relationship with Russia. -- Saulius Girnius
HEADS OF TWO LITHUANIAN BANKS ARRESTED.
Lithuanian police on 20-21
December arrested board chairman Jonas Mackevicius, director Gintautas Preidys
of the Litimpeks Bank, and board chairman of the Lithuanian Akcinis Inovacinis
Bank Arturas Balkevicius on charges of squandering large sums of the banks'
funds. BNS reported. According to preliminary information, Litimpeks squandered
150 million litai ($37.5 million) and LAIB 271 million litai. In a measure to
prevent the banks from going bankrupt, the parliament passed a law granting the
government the right to extend guarantees for interbank loans of up to 300
million litai to commercial banks suffering from insolvency. -- Saulius
POLISH INTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER, PREMIER ON SPY ALLEGATIONS.
Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski--speaking in the Sejm on 21 December, one
day before his declared resignation--said that the ministry knew for some years
that "one of foreign services" had a permanent informer among Polish
postcommunist political circles. In 1995, the ministry received information
that Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy "was an informer" and that between 1990 and
1995 he had "many meetings with foreign intelligence agents" to whom he
revealed classified information. Oleksy told the Sejm he was "never anybody's
agent." He said he stopped meeting an unnamed Russian diplomat after being told
by the Polish secret services that he was a KGB officer. He rejected
Milczanowski's claim that the matter had come to light during the past few
months, noting that the Internal Affairs Ministry had been collecting
information against him for a long time. A 12-member Sejm commission is to
investigate the matter. -- Jakub Karpinski
HAVEL VISITS SARAJEVO.
Czech President Vaclav Havel on 22 December began
a two-day visit to Sarajevo at the invitation of Bosnian President Ilija
Izetbegovic, CTK reported. He is the first foreign head of state to visit the
Bosnian capital since the signing of the Dayton peace agreement. Before
departing from Prague, Havel told reporters the aim of his visit was to express
solidarity with the people of Bosnia and Herzogovina and show support for
democracy and the principles of civil co-existence. Havel was due to have talks
with Izetbegovic and Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic during the visit.
The Czech president was accompanied by Defense Minister Vilem Holan and
Cardinal Miroslav Vlk, who was scheduled to remain in Sarajevo over Christmas.
-- Steve Kettle
SLOVAK OPPOSITION ON DELAY OF TREATY RATIFICATION.
deputy Milan Knazko, at a press conference on 21 December, criticized Meciar
for not defending the Slovak-Hungarian treaty in the parliament, commenting
that the delay in ratifying the treaty was intended to hide the conflict within
the coalition over the issue. Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) Chairman Jan
Carnogursky pointed out that the treaty was signed nine months ago, giving
Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar sufficient time to clear up any conflicting
interpretations with Hungary. KDH deputy Frantisek Miklosko said the passage of
the controversial language law in November was probably not sufficient to
appease the nationalists within the coalition. -- Sharon Fisher
DECLINING SUPPORT FOR SLOVAK PREMIER, PRESIDENT.
According to an opinion
poll carried out by the FOCUS agency in early December, popular confidence in
Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar stood at 22.1%, a 3.8% drop since October.
Support for President Michal Kovac fell 2.8% to 16.4%, while confidence in
parliamentary chairman Ivan Gasparovic rose 3.2% to 15.3%. In terms of parties,
support for Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) fell from 29.9%
to 25.7%, while the popularity of the Association of Workers of Slovakia was
down to just 3.2%. -- Sharon Fisher
HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES BUDGET, MEDIA BILLS.
Parliament on 21
December approved the 1996 budget and--following five years of debate and
delay--the media bill on public and private broadcasting, Hungarian media
reported. The budget bill was supported by the two coalition parties but
rejected by the opposition, which said it did not contain enough reform
measures. Provisions of the media bill, which received greater support, have
not yet been publicized. The parliament also approved state subsidies totaling
4 billion forints ($28.5 million) for churches. -- Zsofia Szilagyi
HUNGARY'S FERIHEGY AIRPORT WILL NOT BE NATO AIR BASE.
spokesman Lajos Erdelyi on 20 December denied that a second NATO air base would
be established at Budapest's Ferihegy airport, Hungarian media reported the
next day. He said an erroneous report was released by AFP the previous day
quoting Col. John Martinson of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 20 December 1995). Erdelyi told Nepszabadsag that air planes
carrying military equipment will land at Budapest airport, but shipments will
be forwarded to military bases in Taszar and Kaposvar, southern Hungary. --
$500 MILLION PLEDGED FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF BOSNIA.
two-day meeting in Brussels (see OMRI Daily Digest, 21
December 1995), representatives from 50 donor countries announced that $500
million has been pledged for the first three months of 1996, Nasa
Borba reported on 22 December. They said they hope to raise an
additional $40-50 million and thereby exceed the estimated $518 million
required for immediate needs. The biggest donors were the organizers of the
meeting: the World Bank pledged $150 million and the EU $112 million. On
arriving in Sarajevo, Carl Bildt, the international community's high
representative for reconstruction, warned that the peace process will be
endangered unless help from outside the country comes soon. The next conference
of donors is scheduled for March 1996, when pledges for the estimated $5.1
billion for the longer term will be made. -- Daria Sito Sucic
MUSLIM-CROATIAN FEDERATION SETS UP UNIFIED COMMANDS IN BOSNIA.
federal parliament met in Sarajevo on 21 December and established joint
commands for the army and police--just after the 20 December deadline set down
in the Dayton treaty--the VOA's Croatian-language service said the next day.
There will be a joint defense ministry and command, but recruits will be able
to choose whether they want to serve in the Croatian or mainly Muslim part of
the army. AFP added that the two police forces will also report to one center.
The Muslim-Croat federation is treated as one entity in the Dayton agreement,
but the allied armies to date have had only coordinated activities and do not
have an integrated command structure. On the contrary, the Bosnian Croat army
is closely linked to the Croatian military. Elsewhere, the International Herald
Tribune on 22 December reported that the U.S. has named Pentagon Bosnia expert
James Pardew to head the project to upgrade government forces with Turkish
assistance. -- Patrick Moore
UN CONDEMNS SERBS FOR SREBRENICA MASSACRES.
The Security Council has
rebuked rump Yugoslav representative Vladislav Jovanovic, who tried to claim
that the Muslims killed their own people in Srebrenica in July. The resolution
clearly blames the Serbs for the murder, rape, expulsion, and conscription into
forced labor of civilians, and mentions Srebrenica, Zepa, Banja Luka, and
Sanski Most. It also singles out Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and
General Ratko Mladic as indicted war criminals, news agencies added. The
massacre of around 5,000 mainly Muslim men has often been referred to as the
single biggest atrocity in Europe since World War II. A report by
Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali and investigations by the Christian
Science Monitor, independent Serbian journalists, and others clearly point
to a mass killing, possibly led by Mladic himself. -- Patrick Moore
INTERNATIONAL POLICE TASK FORCE LAUNCHED.
The Security Council also set
up a 1,721-strong international police force to train and monitor local police
and assist them as need be. This will be the biggest armed UN presence in the
area following the disbanding of UNPROFOR. The UNHCR will supervise the
upcoming exchange of prisoners. Meanwhile in Pale, Karadzic told Red Cross
officials that he will do all he can to make sure that Dayton's 20 January
deadline for releasing prisoners is met. Elsewhere, Serbian villagers in
Dojici, near the Croatian front lines, gave a rousing welcome to British
troops, Reuters reported on 21 December. They credited the Dayton agreement
with saving them from a Croatian occupation. -- Patrick Moore
IFOR COMMANDER MEETS WITH LOCAL CHIEFS OF STAFF.
The chiefs of staff of
the Muslim, Croatian, and Serbian forces--meeting in Sarajevo on 21 December
with the commander of the NATO-led implementation force (IFOR), Admiral
Leighton Smith--promised to cooperate with IFOR, Western agencies reported.
They said that they would restrain their forces, leave the "zones of
separation," and allow unrestricted access for IFOR. Smith said after the
meeting that the local forces have so far proved extremely cooperative with
IFOR. -- Michael Mihalka
SWISS NAMED HUMAN RIGHTS OMBUDSMAN FOR BOSNIA.
The OSCE on 21 December
named Swiss diplomat Gret Haller as human rights ombudsman for Bosnia, Western
agencies reported. The Dayton peace accord created the post and invested it
with responsibility for investigating alleged human rights abuses and
initiating proceedings against those involved. Haller currently serves as the
Swiss representative to the Council of Europe. -- Michael Mihalka
SERBIAN RADICAL LEGISLATORS LOSE MANDATE IN MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT.
Eight former Serbian Radical Party legislators were suspended from their duties
in the Montenegrin parliament on 21 December, Nasa Borba reported the
following day. The parliamentary commission on immunity and mandates was
abiding by a decision taken by the Justice Ministry and the Montenegrin
election commission to ban the legislators from the parliament. The commission
concluded that following a split in the Serbian Radical Party, the legislators
were no longer members of the registered Serbian Radical Party but of an
unregistered extraparliamentary party with the same name led by Drago Bakrac.
-- Fabian Schmidt
MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT SAYS HE WILL RESUME DUTIES.
Kiro Gligorov has said
he will return to office at the beginning of 1996. In his first interview since
the attempt on his life on 3 October, published in Nova Makedonija on 22
December, he rejected speculations about a successor and said he is "convinced
that the citizens of Macedonia will elect their president in the next regular
elections." He noted that the attempt on his life "will [possibly] remain a
mystery for a long time." Gligorov said there is no change in the Macedonian
position on the name issue. He said that "after Dayton and Paris, Macedonia
adheres to its well-known position of being an independent and sovereign
country oriented toward European integration." He added that "Macedonia
maintains the standpoint that it is one of the six equal successors of the
former Yugoslavia." -- Stefan Krause
ROMANIAN PRESIDENT ON 1989 REVOLUTION.
Ion Iliescu--in an address to a
21 December symposium on the 1989 revolution broadcast live on Radio
Bucharest--denounced attempts to "denigrate and mystify" the significance of
the uprising. He said revolutions should be defined not according to how they
were carried out but according to what they achieved. Viewed from this
perspective, he said, the December 1989 overthrow of the communist regime was
indeed revolutionary. Iliescu denied accusations that he had in any way
attempted to bring about a Soviet intervention in Romania at the time. He said
Washington wanted to give Moscow a green light to intervene but Moscow refused.
He also denied accusations that he staged the shooting and killing of civilians
as part of a scenario to justify the takeover. Iliescu said he regretted the
quick trial and execution of Nicolae Ceausescu but argued that the decision was
necessary to stop the revolution from turning into a civil war. -- Michael
IMF EXTENDS, INCREASES ROMANIA'S STAND-BY CREDIT.
in Washington on 21 December reported that the IMF has agreed to extend
Romania's current stand-by credit line and to add $280 million to the funds
available. The extension follows lengthy negotiations. Earlier this year,
Romania was denied access to the remaining $110 million from a 1994 stand-by
loan because it had not met the original agreement's performance criteria. The
renewed program and the additional credit, available through April 1997, will
be used to support Romania's adjustment and structural reform policies. --
ZYUGANOV ADDRESSES TRANSDNIESTRIAN ELECTORATE.
chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which emerged
victorious in the recent parliamentary elections, has called on Transdniestrian
residents to take an active part in the elections to the region's Supreme
Soviet and the referendum on the region's constitution scheduled for 24
December. Infotag and BASA-press on 21 December reported that Zyuganov
expressed his party's support for "the Transdniestrian people's wish to be
masters of their own destinies" and said they should "demonstrate to the CIS
people the common wish to live in one family." Romanian President Ion Iliescu
on 21 December remarked that Zyuganov's address showed "flagrant disregard for
non-interference in the internal affairs of the new independent states." --
KOZLODUY TO HELP SUPPLY BULGARIA WITH ELECTRICITY.
chairman of the Bulgarian National Electrical Company (NEK), said at a press
conference on 21 December that the country will not experience problems with
its electricity supply this winter, Bulgaria media reported the next day. All
three blocks of the coal-fired Maritsa Iztok plant are functioning, as are all
but one at the Kozloduy nuclear plant. On 18 December, the French European
Affairs minister had warned that the country's chances of entering the EU were
jeopardized by keeping Kozloduy in service (see OMRI Daily Digest, 19
December 1995). It was also announced that electricity consumption will rise by
1.2% in 1995. Due to low prices, the NEK will lose 2 billion leva ($284
million). Industrial enterprises owe the company 2 billion leva, while the
factory producing coal briquettes owes it 1.2 billion leva. -- Michael Wyzan
GREECE TO SEND TROOPS TO BOSNIA.
Greek government spokesman Tilemachos
Hytiris on 21 December said the cabinet has decided to send three ships, three
helicopters, and 250 men to Bosnia as part of the multi-national peace-keeping
force, Reuters reported the same day. Greece, which maintains good ties with
Serbia, refused to participate in any international missions to the former
Yugoslavia before the signing of the Dayton and Paris agreements, saying Balkan
countries should keep out of the conflict. -- Stefan Krause
[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave