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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 66, 2 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] KARADZIC PLEDGES UNITY WITH RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

  • [2] INDICTED CROAT GIVES HIMSELF UP.

  • [3] GRENADE ATTACK ON BELGRADE MOSQUE.

  • [4] SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER REMAINS TARGET OF STATE-RUN MEDIA.

  • [5] NATO DELEGATION IN ROMANIA.

  • [6] MOLDOVAN PREMIER IN MOSCOW.

  • [7] CONTINUED CONTROVERSY IN BULGARIA OVER YELTSIN'S REMARK.

  • [8] BULGARIAN WRAPUP.

  • [9] BALKAN, ITALIAN, U.S. DEFENSE MINISTERS AGREE ON JOINT MANEUVERS.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 66, Part II, 2 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] KARADZIC PLEDGES UNITY WITH RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

    Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan Karadzic told the parliament in Pale that he will continue to work for unification with Serbia and Montenegro, although the Dayton agreement says that Bosnia must remain united, AFP reported on 1 April. He otherwise pledged to execute the agreement faithfully, Nasa Borba noted the following day. Karadzic called on the assembly to pass a law making all Serbs in the former Yugoslavia eligible for citizenship in his Republika Srpska. Social problems loomed large in his speech, including the return of property to refugees. Speculation about problems within the Bosnian Serb leadership was heightened by the absence of two key figures: Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic and military leader Gen. Ratko Mladic. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] INDICTED CROAT GIVES HIMSELF UP.

    Bosnian Croat Gen. Tihomir Blaskic arrived in The Hague on 1 April, becoming the first indicted war criminal to give himself up voluntarily to the tribunal, Slobodna Dalmacija and Nasa Borba reported. Croatia had been under intense pressure from Washington to comply with a request for his extradition. In Belgrade, UN administrator for Eastern Slavonia Jacques Klein told Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic that it is imperative that Serbs there remain after the region returns to Croatian control by end of 1997. In Zagreb, Defense Minister Gojko Susak was taken to hospital, Vecernji list wrote. He had just returned to Croatia in order to meet his American counterpart, William Perry, following a lung operation in the U.S. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] GRENADE ATTACK ON BELGRADE MOSQUE.

    One person was injured when an unidentified man threw a hand grenade at the only existing mosque in the rump Yugoslav capital, local Belgrade media reported on 30 March. Reports conflict over whether there were casualties and, if so, how many. Witnesses said the man first brandished a gun at worshippers and then reached for the explosive. Since the outbreak of war in Bosnia- Herzegovina in April 1992, the Bajrakli Mosque has been bombed once and been the target of two arson attacks. -- Stan Markotich

    [4] SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER REMAINS TARGET OF STATE-RUN MEDIA.

    Vuk Draskovic, leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), remains the target of a state-run media campaign, Nasa Borba reported on 2 April. The campaign was triggered by a letter that Draskovic sent to several foreign ministries criticizing Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's regime (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 March 1996). The state authorities have gone so far as to label Draskovic "the number one enemy of the state," Nova Makedonija observed on 1 April. -- Stan Markotich

    [5] NATO DELEGATION IN ROMANIA.

    A high-ranking NATO delegation led by Lt. Gen. Gerrit Jan Folmer, director of International Military Staff, is in Romania to discuss possible cooperation between the Romanian Army and NATO structures, Romanian media reported on 1-2 April. At meetings with Romanian Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca and Chief of Staff Gen. Dumitru Cioflina, Folmer said that future NATO expansion should first take into account European stability and that the "geostrategic factor" should be of secondary importance. Meanwhile, the Romanian Chamber of Deputies has passed a bill on the ratification of the agreement between NATO member states and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program. The neo-communist Socialist Labor Party voted against the bill, arguing that the agreement would limit "the country's national sovereignty." -- Matyas Szabo

    [6] MOLDOVAN PREMIER IN MOSCOW.

    Andrei Sangheli on 31 March arrived in Moscow for talks with the Russian government, Infotag reported on 1 April. Sangheli is scheduled to meet with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Bolshakov and several members of the cabinet. Talks are expected to focus on Russian excise duties on Moldovan goods, which have significantly reduced Chisinau's exports to Russia. Other topics for discussion are the Russian troops withdrawal from the Dniester region and the settlement of Moldova's gas debts to Russia. -- Dan Ionescu

    [7] CONTINUED CONTROVERSY IN BULGARIA OVER YELTSIN'S REMARK.

    Russian President Boris Yeltsin's recent remark about Bulgaria's possible membership in a new political union (see OMRI Daily Digest, 1 April 1996) continues to cause controversy in Sofia, Bulgarian media reported. The government on 1 April said there is consensus among the country's political forces that Bulgaria's main foreign-policy goal is integration into European structures. Parliamentary President Blagovest Sendov noted he was "surprised and bewildered" by Yeltsin's remark. Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) caucus leader Krasimir Premyanov stressed that Bulgaria's sovereignty is not negotiable. Opposition parties argued that government and BSP statements were insufficient and asked both to distance themselves from Yeltsin's remark. The Union of Democratic Forces has called a protest meeting outside the parliament building for 2 April. -- Stefan Krause

    [8] BULGARIAN WRAPUP.

    Aleksandar Marinov, BSP leader in Sofia, has said that members of his party in the capital favor Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski as BSP presidential candidate, Bulgarian media reported. Marinov said Pirinski leads over former party leader Aleksandar Lilov. In other news, Neven Kopandanova of RFE/RL's Bulgarian Service has been chosen as editor-in-chief of the Union of Democratic Forces daily Demokratsiya. She will take over on 15 April. Finally, the National Commission on Prices has proposed that electricity prices for private households increase by 47.7%, 24 chasa reported. The prices of electricity, fuel, heating, and spirits are all expected to rise this month, leading to an additional 2% increase in inflation, the National Statistical Institute announced. -- Stefan Krause

    [9] BALKAN, ITALIAN, U.S. DEFENSE MINISTERS AGREE ON JOINT MANEUVERS.

    The defense ministers of Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Italy, and the U.S., meeting in Tirana for a two-day conference, have agreed to hold joint military exercises this year, international agencies reported on 2 April. The exercises will focus on what to do in the case of natural disasters. The ministers also agreed to exchange information and opinions on military issues. U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry urged the Balkan countries to increase contacts and dialogue and to reduce their troops along common borders as part of confidence-building measures. He added that UNPREDEP forces may remain in Macedonia after IFOR has withdrawn from Bosnia-Herzegovina. -- Fabian Schmidt

    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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