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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 78, 19 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] BOSNIAN MILITARY DISENGAGEMENT COMING ALONG WELL.

  • [2] BOSNIAN SHORT TAKES.

  • [3] VOLKSWAGEN SUSPECTED OF RUMP YUGOSLAV EMBARGO BUSTING.

  • [4] CROATIA CHARGES SERBS WITH TAKING SLAVONIAN OIL.

  • [5] CROATIAN HITMAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF EX-MINISTER.

  • [6] GREEK MACEDONIAN UPDATE.

  • [7] ROMANIA, HUNGARY NEGOTIATING MILITARY COOPERATION TREATY.

  • [8] TURKISH PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA.

  • [9] TIRASPOL BLOCKS RUSSIAN MILITARY EQUIPMENT TRANSFER TO CHISINAU.

  • [10] RUSSIAN MILITARY EXERCISES IN TRANSDNIESTER? BAS

  • [11] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES GOVERNMENT OF UNCLEAR SECURITY POLICY.

  • [12] MOLDOVAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS BULGARIA.

  • [13] RUSSIA CALLS ON BULGARIA NOT TO RAZE RED ARMY MONUMENT.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 78, Part II, 19 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] BOSNIAN MILITARY DISENGAGEMENT COMING ALONG WELL.

    NATO spokesmen said on 19 April that all three sides in Bosnia are continuing to demobilize some 150,000 troops and return the rest to peacetime barracks, despite expiration of the 18 April midnight deadline, international media reported. The officials added that any shortcomings were due to the magnitude of the task rather than to bad faith. The deadline is known as D-120 because it marks 120 days following the Dayton peace accords. Heavy weapons as well as soldiers are to be withdrawn to some 600 IFOR- approved sites. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] BOSNIAN SHORT TAKES.

    The Hague tribunal lawyer for Bosnian Serb Gen. Djordje Djukic said that war-crime charges against his client will be dropped on 22 April because of Djukic's advanced pancreatic cancer. The attorney added, however, that he felt the court was really freeing the general because it knew it had no sound evidence against him, Reuters noted on 18 April. Also at The Hague, Croatian Gen. Tihomir Blaskic, who is being kept under some kind of house arrest, will be allowed better housing and more freedom of movement, Vjesnik reported on 19 April. In Sarajevo, the office of the international community's High Representative Carl Bildt told some hard-line officials in Croatian-held Stolac and Capljina and Muslim-controlled Vares and Bugojno that they will get no reconstruction aid. The four towns failed to set up the executive and legislative structures required under the Dayton agreement, Reuters said. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] VOLKSWAGEN SUSPECTED OF RUMP YUGOSLAV EMBARGO BUSTING.

    Police raided the headquarters of Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany on 18 April, AFP reported the next day. The Braunschweig Prosecutor-General's Office had ordered the raid to investigate allegations that Volkswagen violated the UN embargo by illegally delivering vehicles to rump Yugoslavia. A Volkswagen spokesman denied the allegations adding that since the embargo went into effect in 1992, "clear instructions" had gone out to all Volkswagen managers and commercial partners not to violate the ban. Volkswagen representatives said the suspected embargo violations may have resulted from the theft of vehicles and parts from a Volkswagen plant in a suburb of Sarajevo. The plant ceased operations in April 1992 and was later destroyed. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [4] CROATIA CHARGES SERBS WITH TAKING SLAVONIAN OIL.

    Croatian authorities sent a letter to the UN administrator for eastern Slavonia, Jacques Klein, charging that rebel Serbs are stealing equipment and preparing to wreck the Djeletovci oil pumping station, Vjesnik reported on 19 April. Ivica Vrkic, the Croatian official in charge of reintegrating the last Serb-held part of Croatia, said that destroying the facility could cause major ecological damage. Croatia has frequently accused the Serbs of stealing oil from the Slavonian fields that Serbia seized in 1991. Croatia has shut down the Adriatic oil pipeline in protest of the Serbs' taking oil from Djeletovci and other sites, Nasa Borba added. -- Patrick Moore

    [5] CROATIAN HITMAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF EX-MINISTER.

    Police in Istria arrested 33-year-old Sinisa Stracabosko for the recent murder of Marcelo Popovic, former Minister of Tourism in Croatia's first non-communist government, Novi list reported on 18 April. Stracabosko was known as "Rambo" when he fought in the Croatian military's Zebra unit in the 1991 war with Serbia. He was dishonorably discharged in 1995 after developing a criminal record. Police said that a local businessman and leader of the governing Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ), Sime Medanic, had promised the gunman up to $10,000 for the murder. Popovic had also been a member of the HDZ, but business debts, not politics, appear to be the motive for the killing. -- Patrick Moore

    [6] GREEK MACEDONIAN UPDATE.

    Greece and Macedonia made a fresh effort to reach a compromise on the name of the former Yugoslav Republic in UN- sponsored talks, AFP reported on 17 April. Ambassadors from both countries met at the New York office of former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. They agreed to meet again in June, but no other results were reported. Vance is mediating the talks which resulted from a preliminary agreement made last September in which Greece recognized its neighbor as the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and dropped its trade embargo against the country. Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis also discussed the dispute with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali in New York last week. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [7] ROMANIA, HUNGARY NEGOTIATING MILITARY COOPERATION TREATY.

    The Romanian and the Hungarian Defense Ministries are negotiating a military cooperation treaty which Romanian Chief of Staff General Dumitru Cioflina said may be signed before the conclusion of the bilateral treaty currently under negotiation between the two countries. RFE/RL's Romanian service interviewed Cioflina during his visit to Prague on 16- 18 April. Radio Bucharest reported on 18 April that Hungarian Deputy Defense Minister Tibor Toth will visit Romania between 19-21 April to prepare Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti's visit to Bucharest. In a related matter, Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca and his Ukrainian counterpart, Valerii Shmarov conducted talks in Suceava focusing on NATO enlargement and possible Romanian-Ukrainian cooperation under NATO's Partnership for Peace Program. They also discussed regional and security issues, as well as "possible aspects of future bilateral military cooperation," Radio Bucharest reported. -- Michael Shafir

    [8] TURKISH PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA.

    On a one-day visit to Romania, Suleyman Demirel discussed with Romanian President Ion Iliescu international problems and regional cooperation, particularly in the Balkans, Romanian and international agencies reported on 18 April. They also discussed ways of making the Samsun-Constanta ferry more profitable and the feasibility of extending it to the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti. They met in the Black Sea coast town of Neptun. Demirel later inaugurated a Turkish-language school for the Turkish ethnic minority. Reuters cited Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu as saying Romania hoped Turkey will back its bid to join NATO. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] TIRASPOL BLOCKS RUSSIAN MILITARY EQUIPMENT TRANSFER TO CHISINAU.

    The Tiraspol authorities have blocked the transfer of Russian military equipment to Chisinau. An agreement on the evacuation of equipment belonging to Russian troops stationed in the Transdniester signed last year between Moscow and Chisinau provided for the transfer. Lt. General Valerii Yevnevich, commander of the Russian troops, said the Transdniester authorities' attitude was "uncivilized." He said Russia wants to fulfill its obligations under the agreement but cannot, due to the breakaway republic's opposition. -- Michael Shafir

    [10] RUSSIAN MILITARY EXERCISES IN TRANSDNIESTER?

    BASA-press reported on 18April that it has learned from "inside sources" from the Russian troop command in the Transdniester that military exercises for a training program for "peacekeeping forces" have been started. The sources provided the information "on condition of anonymity." In an interview with the agency, the Russian troops commander, Lt. Gen.Valerii Yevnevich, denied the information. Chisinau is opposed to the Russian proposal to transform the troops stationed in the breakaway republic into "peacekeeping forces." -- Michael Shafir

    [11] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES GOVERNMENT OF UNCLEAR SECURITY POLICY.

    Zhelyu Zhelev accused the socialist government of endangering the country's security by failing to adopt a clear policy on NATO membership, Reuters reported on 18 April. He called the hesitancy "very dangerous for Bulgaria" and pointed out that "all other former socialist countries have declared their readiness to join NATO." Zhelev stressed that "only NATO can provide guarantees for national security." The socialist government is keen to avoid upsetting Moscow, but has joined the Partnership for Peace Program. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [12] MOLDOVAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS BULGARIA.

    Moldovan Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli arrived in Sofia on 17 April, international agencies reported. He met with his Bulgarian counterpart Zhan Videnov to discuss bilateral relations and economic cooperation. Later Sangheli met with Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev and Parliament Speaker Blagovest Sendov. Both sides signed agreements on bilateral investment protection, civil aviation, and cooperation in tourism. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [13] RUSSIA CALLS ON BULGARIA NOT TO RAZE RED ARMY MONUMENT.

    Russia has protested against the planned demolition of the huge Alyosha monument dedicated to the Red Army in Plovdiv, Reuters reported on 17 April. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the decision of the Plovdiv City Council to raze the statue contravenes a 1992 cooperation accord between the countries. The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry supported Russia's opposition to the city's decision, saying the demolition would "cast doubt on the role of the former Soviet Union in the victory over fascism and insult the memory of those who died in the war". In 1993, the Bulgarian government halted demolition work on another Red Army monument in central Sofia following a similar Russian protest. -- 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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