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Newsline - April 1, 1996

President Boris Yeltsin outlined his plan for resolving the Chechen conflict during a speech broadcast on Russian Public TV (ORT) on 31 March. Under the plan, Russian federal forces would immediately cease hostilities and then gradually withdraw from Chechnya at the same time as the Chechen leadership extends "zones of security and peace." The second stage comprises the convocation of a political forum of representatives from throughout Chechnya to prepare for new parliamentary elections. In the third stage, Russian and Chechen representatives will hold negotiations on Chechnya's future political status. Yeltsin indicated that Chechnya could receive a greater degree of autonomy than any other subject of the federation, and said he would be prepared to conduct negotiations with representatives of Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev through an intermediary. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin will head a State Committee to coordinate the peace program's implementation. The Suddeutsche Zeitung quoted Nezavisimaya gazeta on 1 April as reporting that talks between Dudaev's emissaries and a Russian delegation, mediated by the OSCE and Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, would begin in the next few days. -- Liz Fuller

Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov announced that his party supported Yeltsin's peace efforts in Chechnya but added that they should have been adopted much earlier, ITAR-TASS reported 31 March. Duma member Galina Starovoitova warned that "the party of war"--certain government members and Yeltsin's advisers--would continue the fighting until it felt that the task was complete, regardless of the president's statements. Former Supreme Soviet Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov argued that "this is not a peace plan; it's an attempt to calm people and not solve the problem." Duma member Aleksandr Lebed described the proposal to have the Duma adopt an amnesty for Chechen fighters as an attempt "to turn the deputies into fools, while the president keeps his hands clean," NTV reported. Lebed warned that it is impossible to stop the war after a year and a half of massive aerial bombardment. -- Robert Orttung

The presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan signed a series of agreements in Moscow on 29 March that will further integrate their states, Russian media reported. Officially titled the "Treaty on Deepening Integration in Economic and Humanitarian Spheres," the 28-article document covers issues ranging from common goods markets to coordinating information systems. More importantly, the four countries will also establish an Inter-Governmental Council of presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers; an Integration Committee; and an Inter-Parliamentary Committee. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will be the first to chair the council, while the Integration Committee, made up of first deputy prime ministers, will be chaired by a member of the Kazakhstani delegation. In a 27 March address to the Belarusian parliament on state radio monitored by the BBC, Lukashenka stressed that the agreement will not imperil the CIS or the specific Russian-Belarusian accords to be signed on 2 April. The signatory states noted other CIS states are welcome to join the agreements. -- Roger Kangas

Communist Party leader Zyuganov claimed that "social-democracy of the west European type has no chance in Russia," NTV reported on 31 March. The network argued that this statement shows that Zyuganov is seeking the vote of hardliners. Zyuganov asserted, however, that he had never made such a statement and that NTV broadcasted this "false information" because its director, Igor Malashenko, is now part of Yeltsin's re-election team, ITAR-TASS reported. Zyuganov's explanation is not convincing though, because he said that there are many types of social democracy in Europe and that when speaking of its general principles, one must take into account the country's "specific features." -- Robert Orttung

Denouncing attempts to "ape the West," presidential candidate Aleksandr Lebed argued that Russia does not need an elected parliament, NTV reported on 30 March. Instead he called for a "small, highly professional Duma that would be named by the president." Lebed also suggested that the president should submit to a yearly popular referendum and resign if he fails to gain the voters' support. Lebed spoke at the congress of the Democratic Party of Russia which nominated him for president. -- Robert Orttung

Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov met with top Indian officials, including Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, during his 30-31 March trip to the subcontinent, Russian and Western media reported. The two sides signed agreements on re-establishing a "hot line" link between Moscow and New Delhi, scientific and technological cooperation, and other cultural exchanges, and discussed the Afghan conflict. Primakov noted that while Russia has spent considerable energy on its relations with the West, it should begin to "diversify" its foreign policy, ITAR-TASS reported. This year, trade between the two countries is expected to reach $3 billion. According to RFE/RL, India continues to purchase Russian military equipment, with an estimated $3.5 billion worth of weapons contracts currently pending. -- Roger Kangas

The U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Thomas Pickering, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on 29 March to receive a formal complaint about the "repeated" leakage of confidential materials pertaining to U.S.-Russian relations, ITAR-TASS reported. The complaint is presumed to be in response to a 27 March Washington Times report on a Clinton-Yeltsin conversation in Cairo on 13 March. The White House had already on 28 March instructed the Justice Department to investigate the leak. -- Peter Rutland

The Istanbul state security prosecutor filed new charges against the nine men involved in the seizure of the Avrasya Ferry in January, Reuters reported on 29 March. The suspects were previously facing up to 21 years in prison on charges of seizing a vessel, holding hostages, and carrying explosives; the new charges include establishing a terrorist network. The six Turks, two Chechens, and one ethnic Abkhaz from Georgia now face between 22 and 42 years of imprisonment. The Russian media has speculated that the Turkish authorities would be lenient with the suspects; the new charges come just as Turkey is attempting to improve Russian-Turkish relations. -- Lowell Bezanis

Builders lifted Russia's largest gilt cross onto the main cupola of the newly rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on 29 March, Western agencies reported. The cross weighs more than 3 metric tons and measures nine meters high and six meters across. The reconstruction of the cathedral, which was destroyed in 1931, began in January 1995. Now its cupolas are decorated with five crosses covered with 1.5 kg of gold. The construction works are due to be finished by the time Moscow celebrates its 850th anniversary in 1997. The project will cost an estimated $250 million, of which $95 million has already been spent. -- Natalia Gurushina and Robert Orttung

The Finance Ministry has issued a statement that defends a diamond agreement with South Africa's giant De Beers, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 March. Under the framework agreement signed on 23 February, De Beers will sell 95% of Russia's first $550 million worth of rough diamond exports and 80% of stones above that figure. A break up with De Beers would have led to a price war that Russia would lose due to its lack of marketing and sales networks. The ministry noted that the deal will not harm Russia's cutting industry, because it does not cover supplies of rough diamonds to domestic cutters, nor exports and imports of cut diamonds. The inclusion of stones shipped abroad for cutting in Russia's exports should put an end to uncontrolled shipments of uncut diamonds and the resulting loss of budgetary revenue. -- Natalia Gurushina

First Deputy Chairman of Russia's Committee on Precious Metals and Precious Stones (Roskomdragmet), Yurii Kotlyar, has been appointed the acting chairman of the committee, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 March. The position has been vacant since 21 February, when President Yeltsin relieved Yevgenii Bychkov from his duties. Bychkov now faces criminal charges on grounds of abusing his position and violating currency regulations. In 1993 and 1994, Bychkov authorized the transfer of rough diamonds worth $150 million to the U.S. company Golden ADA for cutting. The company went bankrupt, however, and neither money nor stones were not returned. -- Natalia Gurushina

Speaking to international news agencies on 31 March, First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets said the government should pursue a sector-specific industrial policy due to a lack of financial resources, ITAR-TASS reported. The state should support industries oriented to the domestic market, such as car manufacturing, textiles, food, and light industries. Companies in sectors that produce potentially internationally competitive goods--the aerospace industry and nuclear technologies--should get state support to enter foreign markets. Producers of raw materials and fuel should be self-financed. Soskovets also drew attention to the inefficient use of World Bank loans. By the beginning of 1996, Russia had signed 18 credit agreements with the bank worth $4.2 billion. However, only 8.2% of this sum ($244 million) was spent on investment projects. -- Natalia Gurushina

Economist Andrei Illarionov, a former adviser to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, criticized the IMF's decision to grant a $10.1 billion loan to Russia. Speaking to a conference in Cambridge, U.K., on 30 March, Illarionov said, "This money will be quickly and efficiently wasted. In the best case, it will go on agricultural subsidies, in the worst case on military operations in Chechnya." He did not share the IMF's view that the Russian economy will start growing this year, saying that "1996 may not be the last year of economic decline." -- Peter Rutland in Cambridge

The Central Asian states that did not participate in the 29 March signing of the Moscow integration treaty stressed the need to preserve their independence, Russian and Western media reported. Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov called any Turkmen involvement in an enhanced union "premature" and "unacceptable," and stressed that his country's independent foreign policy is based on bilateral accords. Uzbek President Islam Karimov also remains skeptical of moving too quickly. Prior to the signing, he cited his recent book, "Our People's Path is the Path of Independence, Freedom, and Thorough-Going Reform," which warns against efforts to revive the USSR, Narodnoye slovo reported on 28 March. Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov expressed his country's readiness to join the customs union and willingness to participate in a "single economic space," ITAR-TASS reported on 29 March. -- Roger Kangas

In a bid to encourage a resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, Ankara has signaled its readiness to relieve Armenia's economic and energy problems, AFP reported on 30 March. Last week, Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said the Alican border gate with Armenia would be opened as soon as Azerbaijan and Armenia "announce an agreement in principle," the Turkish Daily News reported. Yilmaz also pledged to supply electricity to Armenia if Yerevan agrees to shut down the Medzamor nuclear power plant. Yilmaz is scheduled to visit Baku on 16 April at the invitation of President Heidar Aliev, Turan reported on 30 March. -- Lowell Bezanis

A 20% increase for pensioners of all categories in Kazakhstan comes into effect on 1 April, First Deputy Minister of Social Security Vladimir Romanov told ITAR-TASS. More than 2.8 million pensioners, who form 17% of the total population of the country, will receive the hike. Monthly pensions in Kazakhstan ranging 1,200 to 3,000 tenge ($18 to $28) are paid irregularly due to severe deficits in the pension fund. The pension fund is currently running a 5 billion tenge ($7.6 million) deficit, and the most "incorrigible defaulters" are industrial enterprises, ITAR-TASS reported. Some 517 have been totally shut down, 1,222 have partially seized production and about 396 plants are working on a part-time basis. Last week, the government increased the minimum wage by 20% (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 March 1996). -- Bhavna Dave

Communists and trade unionists organized a march in Minsk on 31 March in support of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's plans to sign a union agreement with Russia on 2 April, Western agencies reported. According to unofficial estimates, the number of people involved in the rally exceeded those who protested against the agreement one week ago. Several hundred students, waving flags and singing the national anthem, demonstrated against the union before the police dispersed them. Two days earlier the parliament voted by 157 to five to approve the president's plan to sign the agreement. But it included a point stating that integration was voluntary "based on the principle of state sovereignty, maintenance of territorial integrity, equal rights, and...non-interference in internal affairs." -- Saulius Girnius

Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev on 29 March said his government will buy 25 strategic bombers from Ukraine, Russian agencies reported. Grachev said he concluded the agreement in talks with Ukrainian Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov on 29 March in Tysovets, Ukraine. Kyiv will provide Moscow with 10 Tu-160 and 15 Tu-95 MS bombers, along with some 300 air-to-ground guided missiles. In return, Russia will transfer a number of AN-24 and AN-27 military transport planes, Mi-8 transport helicopters, eight training MiG-29s, and four Su-27 aircraft. Meanwhile, Ukraine and Russia are continuing talks on basing their parts of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, RFE/RL reported. The countries' deputy prime ministers met in Moscow on 29 March to discuss financial differences over the fleet's division. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk and his Romanian counterpart, Nicolae Vacaroiu, signed several trade and commercial agreements in Izmail, Ukraine, on 29 March. But they failed to make progress on resolving their ongoing territorial disputes, Western and Ukrainian media reported. Romania has insisted that Ukraine denounce secret protocols in the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact giving the former Soviet Ukraine some Romanian territory. Kyiv has refused out of fear that Bucharest will re-claim its borderlands. In other news, international agencies reported on 29 March that the U.S. and Ukraine have agreed to create a research center on the site of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster. Ukrainian Environment Minister Yurii Kostenko and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Terry Lash signed an agreement establishing the $3 million International Chornobyl Center on Nuclear Security. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

Aleksander Kwasniewski on 30 March met with his Belarusian counterpart, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Polish dailies reported. Lukashenka assured Kwasniewski that a new treaty between Belarus and Russia does not mean that Belarus will lose its independence. Kwasniewski also met with Belarusian opposition leaders, but Lukashenka reportedly insisted that some of his supporters also be present at the meeting. -- Jakub Karpinski

Alfreds Rubiks, in an open letter to the Russian-language newspaper Panorama Latvii on 29 March, said he would turn down an amnesty, BNS reported. Rubiks, who was first secretary of the Latvian Communist Party from 1990-1991, was sentenced in July 1995 to eight years in prison for attempting to overthrow the government in 1991. Some Saeima and Council of Europe deputies earlier this year petitioned President Guntis Ulmanis to amnesty him, and the Russian State Duma recently sent an appeal to the Saeima asking for his immediate release. Rubiks wrote that he is convinced that the unlawful character of his conviction will be recognized. He predicted that the Russian presidential elections will change the political situation in Latvia, adding that he hoped it would be for the better. -- Saulius Girnius

The Supervisory Council of Polish Public TV has accepted the resignation of TVP President Wieslaw Walendziak. The council also dismissed the four other members of TVP's board of managers, Polish dailies reported on 30 March. Walendziak was appointed two years ago and was the first president of TVP following its transformation into a shareholders' company. Walendziak largely succeeded in making the TVP immune to political pressures. -- Jakub Karpinski

Leaders of center-right parties--the Conservative Party, the Christian Popular Party and the right-wing faction of the Freedom Union--met in Warsaw on 30 March to discuss forming an election alliance, Polish dailies reported. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for next year. More than 500 delegates to the meeting signed a statement calling for "a broad center-right alliance." In another development, the Sejm on 29 March elected Adam Zielinski as civil rights ombudsman. Zielinski is a judge at the Human Rights Chamber in Bosnia-Herzegovina and former president of the Supreme Administrative Court. His election must be approved by the Senate. -- Jakub Karpinski

Vaclav Klaus on 31 March rejected criticism from the two junior coalition parties, the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) and Christian Democratic Union-Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU-CSL), over those parts of the government program that will not be implemented before the upcoming elections, Czech media reported. Klaus told a conference of his Civic Democratic Party (ODS), which has an outright majority in the cabinet, that all coalition partners were responsible for the government program. He also listed a series of alleged shortcomings in policy areas where ODA politicians are in charge. Rebuffing Klaus's criticism, ODA Deputy Chairman Libor Kudlacek said all parties should recognize their errors, while KDU-CSL Chairman Josef Lux said it was legitimate to point out publicly who was responsible for failures. -- Steve Kettle

Vladimir Meciar told Slovak Radio on 29 March that the law on the protection of the republic is necessary because of "intensifying attacks aimed at morally and politically destroying state organs." He also condemned "a certain group of politicians" calling for a referendum on self-determination for minorities in southern Slovakia. He criticized the opposition's "high level of intolerance" demonstrated during the parliamentary discussion of the new legislation. "What right do they have to call coalition deputies fascists?" Meciar asked. He went on to stress that the law will prevent such forces from gaining power. -- Sharon Fisher

The parliament on 29 March re-approved an income tax law vetoed by President Michal Kovac the previous month. The law states that if a firm is bought from the National Property Fund at a reduced price and under the condition that the money saved is used for investment, the new owner will not have to pay taxes on such income. Speaking before the parliament, Kovac criticized the fact that the law applies only to some investors and stressed the need to preserve equality for all citizens. In other news, Bela Bugar on 30 March was reelected chairman of the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement. At a Slovak National Party (SNS) congress, the party approved declarations condemning the opposition and the president. -- Sharon Fisher

Hungary on 29 March became the 27th country to join the OECD, international media reported. Documents were signed by Hungarian Trade and Industry Minister Imre Dunai and OECD Secretary-General Jean-Claude Paye during a ceremony at the OECD Paris headquarters. Hungary will be now be able to attend all OECD meetings--including those of its council--as an observer. Once the parliament has ratified the final documents, Hungary will become a full member. The Czech Republic became the first former communist country to join the OECD last December. Poland is expected to join later this year, while OECD officials say Slovakia has no real chance to join before 1997. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

The ruling Socialist Party, at a congress over the weekend, elected new leaders and reaffirmed support for the government's economic stabilization program, Hungarian dailies reported on 1 April. Standing as the only candidate, Prime Minister Gyula Horn was re-elected party chairman by an overwhelming majority. The congress voted to reduce the size of the Presidium and replaced most of its members. It also defined the Socialists' top priorities as implementing public finance reform and drafting a new constitution. Privatization Minister Tamas Suchman said after the congress that he would quit the Socialist Party because he was not elected to the Presidium. He added he would remain in the cabinet as an independent. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

International mediators met with top Bosnian Croat and Muslim leaders on 30 March to conclude a 20-point program aimed at strengthening the shaky federation, Oslobodjenje reported. One mediator said that three things are new about the text: neither side will be allowed to set conditions; municipalities and cantons that do not implement the pact will not get international aid; officials who balk can lose their jobs, Onasa news agency reported on 31 March. The text sets target dates for establishing a joint bank and budget. It also includes provisions for other common institutions, including customs offices. Skeptics charged that it is just one more attempt at cajoling the two sides into doing what they have already agreed to do many times before. But U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith told the BBC that the pact is "very significant" and that it involves "converting a piece of paper into the real thing." -- Patrick Moore

U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry announced in Bosnia on 29 March that IFOR will take "vigorous action" to ensure freedom of movement, the Onasa news agency reported. He added that checkpoints must be eliminated. Meanwhile, indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic made his first public appearance in some time, apparently without any interference from IFOR. He spoke at a factory near Pale and handed out medals to Bosnian Serb fighters, Reuters said on 31 March. Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic appealed to IFOR to arrest Karadzic, saying that the "NATO military is capable of removing [him and Gen. Ratko Mladic]. We are begging [IFOR] to do it. There will be no free elections with Karadzic still in power." Meanwhile in Zagreb, the Croatian Helsinki Committee condemned the "plundering and mining" of homes belonging to Serbs in the former Krajina region. The report added that Interior Ministry officials were involved in violations of Serbs' human rights, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 1 April. -- Patrick Moore

IFOR commander U.S. Admiral Leighton Smith has said his troops will assist in war crimes investigations for the first time. They will provide security and other assistance to an international team in the Srebrenica area, news agencies reported on 31 March. The investigators from The Hague have arrived in Bosnia to inspect 12 reputed sites of war crimes in what the BBC called the court's "politically most sensitive mission to date." Meanwhile in Mrkonjic Grad, Bosnian Serbs have so far exhumed 28 bodies from a mass grave in the presence of international observers. The investigation is continuing, and bodies of civilians and soldiers alike appear to be involved in deaths that date back to the battle for the area last fall, AFP noted on 1 April. In Banja Luka, a Bosnian Serb military court sentenced a Croat, Ivan Stjepanovic, to death for war crimes involving the death of 80 Serbs in the contested Posavina region. -- Patrick Moore

Belgrade authorities have turned over the suspected war criminals Drazen Erdemovic and Radoslav Kremenovic to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, RFE/RL reported on 30 March. The two men were arrested in the Vojvodina city of Novi Sad on 2 March. They are believed to have been key witnesses to the massacre of Muslim civilians last summer, when the "safe haven" of Srebrenica fell to Bosnian Serb forces. A representative of the tribunal said both were being treated as witnesses but that they may also be prosecuted. Erdemovic is suspected of having participated in the mass killings, and his testimony may link Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic to the atrocity. -- Stan Markotich

Three Serbian opposition parties--the Serbian Renewal Movement, the Democratic Party, and the Serbian Civic League--organized a mass meeting in Nis over the weekend, Nasa Borba reported. The parties called for the opposition to unite, and party leaders proposed an election coalition under the banner "A Unified List Against the Communists." Estimates of the number of people who attended vary from several thousand to tens of thousands. Meanwhile, members of the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia downplayed the event. TV Serbia on 30 March reported that Mile Ilic, head of the Nis SPS, said the opposition party leaders were "uninvited guests." He said that their efforts would only encourage the local population to "support the SPS and Slobodan Milosevic." -- Stan Markotich

The first Macedonian Stock Exchange opened in Skopje on 28 March. Dnevnik reported that nine brokerage companies carried out 25 transactions involving 395 shares worth a total of $15,000. Some 60 brokers have been trained in Macedonia as part of the Know-How Funds Project and have received international trading licenses. Banks, insurance companies, and savings institutions will trade on the exchange until the government passes a new law on setting up brokerage companies. -- Branko Geroski in Skopje

A high-ranking U.S. diplomat on 31 March said that the U.S. is ready to help Moldova settle its dispute with Dniester separatists, Reuters reported. Ambassador Joseph Presel, coordinator for regional affairs in charge of the newly independent states, was quoted as saying that the Dniester issue could be raised at the U.S.-Russian summit in Moscow next month. But he added that it was unlikely that "any serious progress" could take place before the Russian presidential elections. Presel is currently on a three-day visit to Moldova, where he met with Moldovan President Mircea Snegur and other senior officials. He is expected to visit the Dniester region on 1 April. -- Dan Ionescu

Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev and the Bulgarian opposition have responded sharply to a remark by Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the signing last week of the regional integration agreement (see Part 1 of today's OMRI Daily Digest), RFE/RL reported. Yeltsin had commented that "the community is open to other states...perhaps, for example, Bulgaria." Zhelev on 30 March said it was "scandalous to include Bulgaria in a community we have never discussed." He demanded that the government announce whether it has conducted secret talks with Moscow, otherwise he would be forced to believe that it is "committing treason." Opposition leaders denounced the government and said they would organize demonstrations against what they labeled "Soviet Union II." Government spokesman Nikola Baltov the next day denied that the government has held any talks that could be interpreted as "backstage dealings." He said Zhelev's remarks were "perplexing." -- Stefan Krause

The Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), the People's Union, and the mainly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom (DPS) on 29 March signed an agreement providing for a joint candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, Trud reported. Peter Stoyanov of the SDS and incumbent President Zhelyu Zhelev, who is supported by the People's Union, will take part in primary elections on 1 June. DPS leader Ahmed Dogan said his party will let its members vote according to their conscience. SDS Chairman Ivan Kostov called on the government to assist by providing urns and by opening polling stations. Stoyanov kicked off his election campaign on 31 March by organizing a concert in Sofia. -- Stefan Krause

The defense ministers of Bulgaria, Macedonia, Turkey, Italy, and the U.S. arrived in the Albanian capital on 31 March for a two-day conference on Balkan security, Reuters reported. The "unofficial" meeting was initiated by the Albanian government and also attended by an OSCE representative. U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry praised the conference as a "chance for more security in the region." Albanian President Sali Berisha said the aim of the conference was to "boost security cooperation in the region and to discuss military cooperation." Other issues discussed were humanitarian aid in disaster situations and civil military relations. Greece declined to participate in protest at the exclusion of Serbia and Romania. -- Fabian Schmidt

Albania's parliament on 29 March dissolved itself ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for late May or early June, Reuters reported. Before doing so, it unanimously adopted a new civil code, which is the last step in the creation of a post-communist legal system. A new criminal code was adopted last summer. President Sali Berisha praised the legislature's contribution to establishing a state based on the rule of law and market economy. He noted that it has given "political stability to the country." -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave