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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 54, 15 March 1996

From: OMRI-L <omri-l@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu>

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] ANOTHER BALKAN SUMMIT TO BEGIN.

  • [2] SARAJEVO SERBS SEEK TO CURB EXODUS.

  • [3] SERBIAN WAR CRIMINAL SUSPECTS TO APPEAR IN THE HAGUE?

  • [4] SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ON CONDITIONS IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

  • [5] OSCE TIES BELGRADE'S ADMISSION TO SOLUTION IN KOSOVO.

  • [6] SPY TRIAL IN CROATIA CRITICIZED.

  • [7] ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON TREATY WITH RUSSIA.

  • [8] BUCHAREST SUBWAY RUNS AGAIN.

  • [9] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT DEMANDS DEFENSE MINISTER'S RESIGNATION.

  • [10] BULGARIAN UPDATE.

  • [11] ALBANIAN EDITOR FINED FOR "FALSE REPORT."

  • [12] GREEK PREMIER SAYS ECONOMIC TIES WITH SKOPJE IMPROVE.

  • [13] GREEK-TURKISH UPDATE.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 54, Part II, 15 March 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] ANOTHER BALKAN SUMMIT TO BEGIN.

    The top leaders of Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia are slated to meet in Geneva with U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher on 18 March, AFP reported on 15 March, citing Christopher's spokesman. There will also be top officials present from the other Contact Group countries, Reuters noted the previous day. The fact that such a gathering is being called illustrates the precarious state of the Dayton peace process, given that the last summit was held in Rome only a few weeks ago and that a regional foreign ministers' meeting is slated for 23 March in Moscow. Meanwhile, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic has left the hospital for a prolonged recuperation at home from heart problems, Oslobodjenje noted the next day. Vice President Ejup Ganic, who has been substituting for the president, will fill in for him at the summit with Presidents Franjo Tudjman of Croatia and Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] SARAJEVO SERBS SEEK TO CURB EXODUS.

    The anti-nationalist Serbian Civic Council (SGV) has appealed to the federal president and prime minister to take measures to reassure Serbs that they have a place in the Bosnian capital. The SGV again asked President Kresimir Zubak to make Sarajevo a federal district, based on the model of Brussels, where all groups would be equal. It also asked Prime Minister Izudin Kapetanovic to give Serbs a six-month grace period to return to their homes. The Council also called for setting up a registry of prewar Serbian property and a commission on the rights of refugees and returnees, Oslobodjenje reported on 14 March. There are some 10,000 Serbs still in the suburbs, and Ilidza-based Mayor Maksim Stanisic is also urging them to stay through his Democratic Initiative of Sarajevo Serbs. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] SERBIAN WAR CRIMINAL SUSPECTS TO APPEAR IN THE HAGUE?

    Deputy ChiefProsecutor on the International War Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Graham Blewitt on 14 March believes that suspected Serbian war criminals Radoslav Kremenovic and Drazen Erdemovic will be turned over to the tribunal. "I do not anticipate any obstacles to both men being transferred [from Serbia] to the Hague in accordance with the prosecutor's request," Reuters quoted him as saying. Kremenovic and Erdemovic have already admitted to taking part in the massacres of Bosnian Muslims after the Bosnian Muslim "safe-haven" of Srebrenica fell to the Serbs in July 1995. -- Stan Markotich

    [4] SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ON CONDITIONS IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

    Vuk Draskovic, leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement, has sent a letter to the foreign ministries (or their equivalents) of the U.S., Russia, Germany, France, Britain, and Italy arguing that since the Dayton peace accord, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has implemented "a one- party dictatorship." Nasa Borba on 15 March quotes Draskovic as saying that there are systematic campaigns of repression against the independent media, growing police repression, and continuing human rights violations. Draskovic also contends that "the great powers have given [Milosevic] a free hand" to intensify domestic repression since the peace accord was signed. -- Stan Markotich

    [5] OSCE TIES BELGRADE'S ADMISSION TO SOLUTION IN KOSOVO.

    Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE chairman Flavio Cotti said Belgrade's readmission to the OSCE would be tied to a resolution of the Kosovo conflict, Reuters reported on 14 March. Cotti pointed out that "effective progress" is "unfortunately still far away." He pointed out that the OSCE expects guarantees from Belgrade that Kosovo will be granted "large autonomy" or that "a federal solution" to the problem will be found. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [6] SPY TRIAL IN CROATIA CRITICIZED.

    Defense lawyers representing 15 people charged with spying for rump Yugoslavia and Croatian Serb rebels have accused the military prosecutors of being partial, Nasa Borba and AFP reported on 14 March. They say the prosecutors have denied them access to necessary legal documents so that they have been unable to prepare their defense on time. Prosecutors say 10 of the accused have pleaded not guilty, three have pleaded guilty, and two have refused to plead anything. Defense lawyers also complained about bringing the prisoners to the court "in chains,", Vjesnik reported on 15 March. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [7] ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON TREATY WITH RUSSIA.

    Teodor Melescanu has told ITAR-TASS that Romania wants to sign the bilateral treaty with Russia before the next Russian presidential elections. Radio Bucharest cited Melescanu as saying that the treaty should be signed during the Yeltsin-Iliescu summit and that he would discuss these matters with his Russian counterpart, Yevgenii Primakov, next month. He added that disagreement persisted over the inclusion in the treaty of a mention of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Demurin said Moscow was waiting for a sign of "realism" from Bucharest that it was ready to forego its demand that the treaty condemn the pact. -- Michael Shafir

    [8] BUCHAREST SUBWAY RUNS AGAIN.

    Radio Bucharest announced on 14 March that the Bucharest subway has started running again. Nothing was said about the some 2,000 employees who have refused to sign pledges to return to work. According to a statement by Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu on 13 March, those workers have been dismissed. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT DEMANDS DEFENSE MINISTER'S RESIGNATION.

    Mircea Snegur is demanding Defense Minister Pavel Creanga's resignation, BASA-press and international agencies reported on 14 March. The presidential office released a statement saying Creanga had failed to "take sufficient measures to ensure the integrity of the National Army's assets and efficient use of budget funds." Creanga said the accusations were "groundless" and that the demand for his resignation was illegal and prompted by his refusal to allow political interference in the army. Under Moldovan law, a minister can be dismissed only by the prime minister. Observers note that Premier Andrei Sangheli, a political rival of Snegur, is unlikely to fire Creanga. -- Michael Shafir

    [10] BULGARIAN UPDATE.

    The European Court of Human Rights on 14 March agreed to hear charges made by Andrey Lukanov, who was Bulgarian premier for 10 months after the collapse of the communist regime headed by Todor Zhivkov, international media reported. Lukanov, now a deputy of the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party, alleges that his rights were violated when the authorities illegally detained him in 1992 to determine his possible role in misappropriating state funds while deputy premier in the 1980s. In other news, Bulgarian media on 14 March reported that some 37 sports federations are defending Ivan Slavkov, chairman of both the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and Soccer Association and Zhivkov's son-in- law. In a letter to various politicians, the federations say Slavkov's human rights are being violated. On 11 March, he went on trial for misappropriating state funds and possessing firearms. -- Stan Markotich

    [11] ALBANIAN EDITOR FINED FOR "FALSE REPORT."

    Koha Jone Chief EditorAleksander Frangaj was fined the equivalent of $1,000 for allowing the publication of a "false report" (see OMRI Daily Digest, 14 March 1996) international agencies reported. Frangaj was sentenced under a disputed media law that makes chief editors and publishers accountable for articles containing false information. The law provides for fines from between $1,000 and $8,000. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [12] GREEK PREMIER SAYS ECONOMIC TIES WITH SKOPJE IMPROVE.

    Kostas Simitis said that talks on economic ties with Skopje are progressing but that the dispute over the name of Macedonia remains unresolved. Simitis was speaking at a meeting with Greek opposition leaders , AFP reported on 14 March. Neo-nationalist leader Antonis Samaras, who opposes any concessions to Macedonia, called for a referendum, but other party leaders supported finding a compromise. Simitis will meet with the head of the Macedonian liaison office in Athens Ljupco Arsovski on 15 March. In another diplomatic effort, Greek Foreign Minister Theodore Pangalos has invited his Macedonian counterpart, Ljubomir Frckovski, to Athens to "discuss economic and commercial relations." -- Fabian Schmidt

    [13] GREEK-TURKISH UPDATE.

    Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said Turkey may withdraw its Aegean army in a move to improve strained relations with Greece, Western media reported on 14 March. His remarks came in the wake of Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos's offer to withdraw its troops from Aegean islands near Turkey if Ankara relocates its 4th Aegean army. -- Lowell Bezanis

    This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research Institute, a nonprofit organization with research offices in Prague, Czech Republic.
    For more information on OMRI publications please write to info@omri.cz

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