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OMRI: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE, V1,#1, Jan. 9, 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Pursuing Balkan Peace Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] RADOVAN KARADZIC REAPPEARS.

  • [02] MORE MODELS FOR "SERBIAN SARAJEVO."

  • [03] BOSNIAN SERBS SEEK TO BREAK ISOLATION.

  • [04] SERBS CART OFF VOLKSWAGEN PLANT.

  • [05] CARL BILDT SETS UP SHOP IN SARAJEVO.

  • [06] CHECKPOINTS TO BE REMOVED FROM SARAJEVO-KISELJAK ROAD?

  • [07] SARAJEVO AIRLIFT ENDS.

  • [08] SEVENTH MASS GRAVE FOUND IN NORTHWESTERN BOSNIA.

  • [09] HOLD-UP ON PRISONER EXCHANGE.

  • [10] MUSLIMS THWART CROATS IN CENTRAL BOSNIA.

  • [11] MORE ON THE ISLAMIC FIGHTERS.

  • [12] "THE WORLD'S LARGEST DUTY-FREE ZONE."

  • [13] A FUTURE FOR A BIG EXPLOSIVES FACTORY.

  • [14] CROATIA EXPECTS THE DOLLAR TO ROLL.

  • [15] CROATIAN RULING PARTY TO BLOCK OPPOSITION IN ZAGREB AFTER ALL?

  • [16] SLOVENIAN NATIONALIST CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT ON NATO.

  • [17] SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ON MEANING OF BOSNIAN PEACE FOR HOME FRONT.

  • [18] RUMP YUGOSLAV MILITARY LEADER'S PROPAGANDA WAR.

  • [19] SERBIA TO COUNT ITS REFUGEES . . .

  • [20] . . . WHILE MONTENEGRO INTRODUCES AID PROGRAM.

  • [21] SERBIAN SOCIALISTS CLAIM SUPPORT FROM KOSOVO ALBANIANS.

  • [22] ETHNIC ALBANIAN WAR VETERANS CALL FOR INDEPENDENT KOSOVO.

  • [23] RUMP-YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT BLOCKS WHEAT AND FLOUR FOR ALBANIA.

  • [24] SANDZAK PARTY CALLS ON MILOSEVIC TO ISSUE AMNESTY . . .

  • [25] . . . AS DO THE VOJVODINA HUNGARIANS.

  • [26] CANADIANS INSTRUCTED ON RULES OF ENGAGEMENT IN BOSNIA.

  • [27] IFOR BRINGS EMPLOYMENT BONANZA TO HUNGARY'S TASZAR.

  • [28] FIRST CZECH TROOPS LEAVE FOR BOSNIA.

  • [29] U.S. IFOR SOLDIER ELECTROCUTED EN ROUTE TO BOSNIA.

  • [30] SHOULD SLOVAKIA HAVE JOINED IFOR?

  • [31] RUSSIA SENDS PEACEKEEPERS TO BOSNIA TO BOLSTER PRESTIGE.

  • [32] UKRAINE SIGNS COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH SERBIA.

  • [33] FIRST GREEK IFOR TROOPS OFF TO BOSNIA.

  • [34] GREEK PLANE ABORTS LANDING IN SARAJEVO AFTER BEING SHOT AT.


  • OMRI SPECIAL REPORT: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE

    Vol. 1, No. 1, 9 January 1996

    [01] RADOVAN KARADZIC REAPPEARS.

    Sky News on 6 January showed the Bosnian Serb leader in his first public appearance in three weeks. Knocking back glasses of plum brandy and chatting with soldiers and civilians, he visited Serb-held areas to mark Orthodox Christmas. The BBC the next day described his speech for the occasion as filled with an "air of pessimism and defeat." Karadzic once again indirectly accused Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic of selling out Bosnian Serb interests at the Dayton peace talks, but made no reference to the beating his own troops had taken on the battlefield in 1995. The indicted war criminal pledged that the Serbs would make good their losses but through political rather than military means. -- Patrick Moore

    [02] MORE MODELS FOR "SERBIAN SARAJEVO."

    Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic told Radio Kragujevac that the so-called Serbian Sarajevo still should retain its own local government even if it comes under the control of the Federation. Bosnian Serb Vice President Biljana Plavsic, however, called for Sarajevo to be a divided city as Mostar now is, Nasa Borba reported on 8 January. Given the recent track record of Mostar, that suggestion could sound rather unappealing; and Hina said that Bildt rejected the idea. The anti-nationalist Serbian Civic Council had earlier called for a federal solution for the capital, on the model of Washington, Brussels, or Mexico City. -- Patrick Moore and Daria Sito Sucic

    [03] BOSNIAN SERBS SEEK TO BREAK ISOLATION.

    Pale's Vice President Nikola Koljevic launched a publicity campaign on Greek television on 7 January (see OMRI Daily Digest, 8 January 1995). Kasagic, in his interview with Radio Kragujevac, stressed the possibility of economic cooperation of the Republika Srpska with the mainly Muslim and Croatian Federation, as well as with all other entities created out of the former Yugoslavia. AFP quoted him as saying that the Republika Srpska would soon open talks with Croatia and with Montenegro as part of an opening to "all sides." -- Patrick Moore and Daria Sito Sucic

    [04] SERBS CART OFF VOLKSWAGEN PLANT.

    Bosnian Serbs are dismantling and removing the contents of the former car factory in Vogosca. Reuters on 8 January reported that Lt.-Gen. Sir Michael Walker, the commander of NATO ground troops in Bosnia, was there and told reporters he was discouraged by what was happening. The Serbs had converted the plant, which was a symbol of economic progress in communist times, into an arms factory. -- Patrick Moore

    [05] CARL BILDT SETS UP SHOP IN SARAJEVO.

    The international community's High Representative in the Bosnian capital has arrived at a headquarters that AFP described on 7 January as still resembling a building site. Observers noted that the civilian side of the Dayton program will necessarily trail behind the military one. The Swedish career politician told reporters that he had just "managed to secure some cash in a bank in Brussels and brought it down here in a bag." An American diplomat added that "every diplomat in town runs like a drug dealer carrying bags of cash." Bildt said that his organization, unlike NATO, was having to "start from scratch," but that it would urgently turn its attention to pressing issues, such as that of the Serb-held territories slated to pass to government control in March. He called that question "difficult, crucial, and critical . . . the number one issue that needs to be addressed." -- Patrick Moore

    [06] CHECKPOINTS TO BE REMOVED FROM SARAJEVO-KISELJAK ROAD?

    Bosnian Serbparliamentary speaker Momcilo Krajisnik on 6 January discussed with IFOR the possible removing of checkpoints from the Sarajevo-Kiseljak road, Nasa Borba reported on 8 January. SRNA said that the Serbian police would still reserve the right to control vehicles and passengers they regard as suspicious. Krajisnik said that this meeting was only the first in a series and that he expects it to lead to a "political solution of a problem of Serbian Sarajevo." Meanwhile, Reuters reported that a NATO spokesman announced that IFOR troops will establish regular foot-patrols in Sarajevo's Serb-held areas of Grbavica and Ilidza. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [07] SARAJEVO AIRLIFT ENDS.

    On 9 January the UN's Sarajevo airlift made a final symbolic flight. Slobodna Dalmacija wrote on 7 January that the project had lasted 1,282 days, or three times longer than the Berlin airlift, making it the largest humanitarian airlift in history. A total of 13,000 flights by 20 countries provided 161,000 tons of food and medicine. They carried out 1,100 wounded persons and brought in numerous journalists and politicians. The BBC on 9 January described the airlift as one of the UN's few success stories in Bosnia. -- Patrick Moore

    [08] SEVENTH MASS GRAVE FOUND IN NORTHWESTERN BOSNIA.

    Radio Bosnia and Herzegovina on 5 January reported that yet another mass grave has been located in the area of Sanski Most, the seventh since October 1995, when the town was retaken by the allies. It contains 27 bodies of Muslims who were gassed in July 1992 during their transfer from Sanski Most to a concentration camp at Manjaca, near Banja Luka. The site was identified by the Sanski Most war crimes commission on the basis of statements by witnesses, and these findings were immediately reported to the Hague-based tribunal, Vecernji list reported on 7 January. In another development, Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic on 6 January asked IFOR commander Admiral Leighton Smith for direct help with the problem of mass graves around Srebrenica, the BBC reported on 8 January. IFOR to date has been wary of dealing with the issue of collecting evidence of war crimes. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [09] HOLD-UP ON PRISONER EXCHANGE.

    The Bosnian government has baulked at completing preparations for a prisoner exchange as specified in the Dayton agreement, Reuters reported on 8 January. The Sarajevo authorities refused to include the agreement, saying that any list would be incomplete until the more than 5,000 missing persons from Srebrenica are accounted for. -- Patrick Moore

    [10] MUSLIMS THWART CROATS IN CENTRAL BOSNIA.

    International attention has been focused on Mostar, where the Croats are in the dominant position and the Muslims are the underdog. But in central Bosnia, the roles have been reversed since the internecine war of 1993, when Muslim forces drove Croats out of areas that had been Roman Catholic since the Middle Ages. Vecernji list reported on 8 January that an incident took place near Vares -- which was largely Croatian before the war -- in which a monk was beaten up by Muslim police. The paper also said that European monitors have stated that it is still too early for Croatian civilians to return to Bosnian government-controlled Bugojno. Slobodna Dalmacija wrote on 7 January that the Croatian former local council from Bugojno, which is now based in Livno, is anxious to restart the economy and prepare for elections. Turning to Mostar,Vecernji list on 8 January was pessimistic: "Many journalists have arrived, and that's not a good sign." -- Patrick Moore

    [11] MORE ON THE ISLAMIC FIGHTERS.

    It never was completely clear how many foreign and Bosnian Islamic fighters fought on the side of the Bosnian army. Serbian propaganda greatly inflated the number of these determined irregulars, while Bosnian government sources would rather not talk about them at all. By the end of 1995 there were probably some 2,000 left, and they are obliged to leave by Dayton's 19 January deadline. NATO countries have been pressuring Sarajevo since the agreement was signed to send them on their way. An IFOR spokesman said that they do appear to be leaving, and that most came from Iran and Afghanistan, Vecernji list reported on 8 January. There has been special concern that Iranian fighters and U.S. troops near Tuzla do not come in contact with each other. Novi list wrote that Egyptian officials are concerned that the fighters might make Egypt their next stop. -- Patrick Moore

    [12] "THE WORLD'S LARGEST DUTY-FREE ZONE."

    This is how someone once described the Herzegovinian-dominated Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Globus on 5 January suggested that the Croatian oil company Inter-INA in 1994 sold at least 14,000 tonnes of gasoline from Krk island via Rogatin to the Bosnian Serbs in the old chetnik center of Trebinje. The shipment was allegedly supervised by Herzegovinian military police, or HVO police, who have their own place to stay in Trebinje. -- Patrick Moore

    [13] A FUTURE FOR A BIG EXPLOSIVES FACTORY.

    Slobodna Dalmacija wrote on 7 January that the Vitezit military plant -- once one of the largest in the Balkans -- still employs 750 people and plans a future based on internationally competitive industrial explosives. The director said that neither Herceg-Bosna nor Croatia has a proper arms and service industry, and that this must change. Back to politics, Novi list on 8 January looked at the shaky relations between Zagreb and Sarajevo in the wake of Tudjman's visit. Some observers suggest that Tudjman seeks to strengthen his dominant role in the partnership and to shore up Herceg-Bosna in its quest to stay outside the authority of Sarajevo. -- Patrick Moore

    [14] CROATIA EXPECTS THE DOLLAR TO ROLL.

    Vecernji list wrote on 9 January that the republic's business community awaits big money from the presence of IFOR. A total of $7,000,000 is expected, and some $1,300,000 has already been paid into the Croatian economy. About $5,600,000 of the total will go to the southern parts of the country, where it is expected to help revive the once lucrative tourist industry. But life is not all easy, however: the Vinogorje hotel and catering company of Nova Gradiska claims that U.S. military police ran up a bill of over $11,000 between Christmas and New Year's -- but left without paying. -- Patrick Moore

    [15] CROATIAN RULING PARTY TO BLOCK OPPOSITION IN ZAGREB AFTER ALL?

    Croatiandailies reported on 5 January that the government the previous day recommended to President Franjo Tudjman that he reject the Zagreb mayor and county assembly speaker chosen by opposition-dominated bodies on 2 January. It is not clear what the HDZ intends to gain by this move, since popular opposition to the governing party's stubbornness is strong and new elections are likely to deal the opposition an even stronger hand. Globus on 5 January said that 54% of the respondents to a poll in Zagreb felt that Tudjman intends to block the election of Goran Granic as mayor, that 72% regard Granic as the legal mayor, and that 61% would vote for the opposition coalition now. -- Patrick Moore

    [16] SLOVENIAN NATIONALIST CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT ON NATO.

    On 4 January Slovenian Radio reported that the ultranationalist leader of the Slovenian National Party, Zmago Jelincic, sharply condemned the Slovenian government for permitting NATO troops to transit the country. Jelincic charged that the transit agreement amounted to a serious compromising of security interests and national sovereignty. He also accused the governing coalition of violating procedure in failing to bring the issue to a discussion before parliament, alleging that the government feared that the legislature would have rejected it. -- Stan Markotich

    [17] SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ON MEANING OF BOSNIAN PEACE FOR HOME FRONT.

    At his 4 January press conference Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) leader Vuk Draskovic warned that regional peace may offer few, if any, prospects for genuine democratic reforms on Serbia's home front, Nasa Borba reported the next day. "I am afraid that nothing will come of peace -- not a national calming-down, economic revival and democratic restoration. The regime [constantly] thwarts reform. International credits, without which there is no recovery of any kind, are not forthcoming . . . " said Draskovic. He also warned that the government may be planning fresh crackdowns on the independent media. -- Stan Markotich

    [18] RUMP YUGOSLAV MILITARY LEADER'S PROPAGANDA WAR.

    On 4 January Television Serbia reported comments by Lt.-Gen. Dragoljub Ojdanic, commander of the First Army district of the rump Yugoslav army. Ojdanic used the occasion to laud the efforts of Milosevic in bringing about regional peace, and maintained that any debates, public or otherwise, aimed at establishing a cause or guilt for the Bosnian war were "futile." He added that "it is most crucial to look for answers and ways of protecting peace from the destructive and counterproductive debates inciting polemics around the question of who is responsible." The general's remarks may suggest a renewed Belgrade campaign to dodge responsibility for the conflicts throughout the former Yugoslavia. -- Stan Markotich

    [19] SERBIA TO COUNT ITS REFUGEES . . .

    Serbia's refugee commissioner Bratislava Morina announced that Belgrade wants a census of all refugees in rump Yugoslavia, the BBC monitoring service reported, citing Tanjug accounts of 6 January. Morina said it was vital to know precisely how many displaced persons and refugees were in the country, since their numbers would determine levels of humanitarian aid funding. "There are 430,000 registered refugees in Serbia, in addition to the 212,000 expelled from the Republic of Serbian Krajina, but the High Commissioner for Refugees has the wrong figure of 330,000 refugees and displaced persons," she said. Morina added that any repatriation campaigns would be undertaken in an orderly and humanitarian fashion. -- Stan Markotich

    [20] . . . WHILE MONTENEGRO INTRODUCES AID PROGRAM.

    Meanwhile, the Montenegrin government has organized a republic-wide drive for humanitarian aid to assist the Serbs in Herzegovina, Tanjug reported on 7 January. According to Podgorica, some 70, 000 individuals are expected benefit from the program, which is estimated to cost some $650,000. The first delivery convoys are slated to begin their journey sometime during the week of 15 January. -- Stan Markotich

    [21] SERBIAN SOCIALISTS CLAIM SUPPORT FROM KOSOVO ALBANIANS.

    The President of the Socialist Party of Serbia's provincial committee in Kosovo, Vojislav Zivkovic, claimed that about 70 ethnic Albanians in Glogovac and 15 in Kacanik joined the SPS, the BBC cited Tanjug as reporting on 7 January. Zivkovic reportedly said the new members demonstrated the "first sign of a positive change in the ethnic Albanians' attitude and of their opposition to pressure exerted by their separatist leaders." The same account added that an unspecified number of Albanians also joined the party of Milosevic's wife Mirijana Markovic, the Yugoslav United Left. The report alleges that in fact many Albanians do not want it to be known that they have joined the SPS for fear that they may become victims of "Albanian extremists." No figures were, however, given about the total number of ethnic Albanians in either of the Serbian parties. In September 1991, 87% of the total population in Kosovo, by a margin of 99.8%, voted for independence in an illegal referendum. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [22] ETHNIC ALBANIAN WAR VETERANS CALL FOR INDEPENDENT KOSOVO.

    The organization of ethnic Albanian veterans of World War II in Kosovo sent a letter to the UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali, the Contact Group, and the respective organizations of Partisan veterans in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania, demanding independence for Kosovo. The veterans argued that the "Albanian people in Kosovo gained the right to self-determination in the armed antifascist war and the constituting conference of the National Liberation Committee of Kosovo, which met on 2 January 1944 in Bujan and included ..[agreement] on a parliament and a provisional government." They argued that at the conference a resolution was adopted, guaranteeing the population of Kosovo "the right of self-determination and of separation" from Serbia. The veterans also claim the self-determination right was guaranteed by the Allied powers, but not used due to the Kosovars' political inertia, Nasa Borba reported on 9 January. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [23] RUMP-YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT BLOCKS WHEAT AND FLOUR FOR ALBANIA.

    On 9 January Zeri i Popullit reported that Belgrade banned the export of wheat and flour to Albania. The decision was made on 6 January, and followed an increase in bilateral trade after the lifting of the UN sanctions against rump-Yugoslavia. Wheat and flour are cheaper to import into Albania from the Yugoslav market than from Italy or Greece. The export ban likely triggered the subsequent 17% price jump on the domestic Albanian market. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [24] SANDZAK PARTY CALLS ON MILOSEVIC TO ISSUE AMNESTY . . .

    The Party of Democratic Action of Sandzak's (SDA) leader Rasim Ljajic, in an interview given to Nasa Borba of 9 January, called on Milosevic to issue a general amnesty for deserters and draft evaders as well as for other political prisoners. Ljajic pointed out that a large number of Muslims from the region in northern Montenegro and southern Serbia left rump-Yugoslavia because they feared the draft and war. Altogether 45 Muslims have been arrested for desertion or draft evasion. Another 24 people were sentenced in October 1994 for allegedly building up a paramilitary group attempting to secede from the rump Yugoslavia. Ljajic, however, proclaims their innocence and said they should be released. He pointed out that Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic had pardoned 21 Muslim prisoners on New Year's eve, people whom Ljajic described as political prisoners. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [25] . . . AS DO THE VOJVODINA HUNGARIANS.

    The Executive Deputy Chairman of the Union of Vojvodina Hungarians, Sandor Egressy, said that every citizen of rump Yugoslavia who left the country to avoid being drafted should be pardoned and assured a safe return. He pointed out that such an amnesty law is overdue and should have been passed already in 1992. According to the Union, between 1991 an 1994 an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 ethnic Hungarians left the province, while altogether about 200,000 mainly young people left Serbia. Egressy said that these refugees "did not want to take part in the fratricidal war of the Yugoslav peoples." He also said that last September his party rallied for an amnesty but that "unfortunately this demand was not supported by any party or movement with a democratic orientation." Nasa Borba carried the story on 5 January. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [26] CANADIANS INSTRUCTED ON RULES OF ENGAGEMENT IN BOSNIA.

    Canadian troops partaking in the NATO Bosnia mission have been issued with a special set of conduct rules, international media, citing Canadian Defense Ministry sources, reported on 7 January. Along with other instructions, Canadians have been specifically told to not "torture, kill or abuse prisoners" and will not be allowed to use deadly force in situations where others may. Troops are issued a special set of written instructions, and restrictions defining troop conduct are reportedly being brought into line with existing Canadian law. At an 8 January press conference Col. Michel Maisonneuve said this "needed to be done this time to make sure there was nothing left to chance." Prompting the Canadian military's actions is the legacy of a tarnished peacekeeping mission in Somalia, where members of the former Airborne Regiment were charged with being involved in the torture and killing of four Somali civilians. -- Stan Markotich

    [27] IFOR BRINGS EMPLOYMENT BONANZA TO HUNGARY'S TASZAR.

    According to Hungary's National Job Exchange Center, Americans have employed nearly 600 local workers to build the infrastructure of the Kaposvar-Taszar logistics base, while a further 350 people are being selected and can start work within days, Hungarian media reported on 5 January. The employees can earn nearly double the average Hungarian wage. In other news, Nepszabadsag reports that Hungary's telecommunications company, MATAV, has received orders to build more than 600 new telephone lines for the peacekeepers. The value of the project approaches 50 million forints ($360,000). In addition, NATO headquarters has ordered 100 million forint worth of telephone lines based on radio links. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

    [28] FIRST CZECH TROOPS LEAVE FOR BOSNIA.

    An advance party of 25 soldiers left their base in southern Bohemia on 4 January to join the IFOR troops in Bosnia, Czech media reported. The soldiers are to prepare for the arrival of the full Czech contingent, a mechanized battalion of around 865 men. The first main part of the Czech contingent, some 160 soldiers, is due to arrive on 16 January to serve in the British sector in northwest Bosnia. -- Steve Kettle

    [29] U.S. IFOR SOLDIER ELECTROCUTED EN ROUTE TO BOSNIA.

    A 19-year-old U.S. private suffered serious second and third-degree burns on 5 January from a railway power line in the Czech Republic, Czech and international media reported. Travis Wayne Bourret was aboard a military train carrying IFOR troops and equipment from Germany to Hungary. At a scheduled stop at Breclav on the Czech-Austrian border, Bourret climbed onto the roof of the train and struck a high-voltage electricity cable. His heart stopped beating for 27 minutes before being restarted by an ambulance team, Reuters reported, quoting a U.S. army spokesman. After treatment in a local hospital, Bourret was airlifted to Germany in critical condition and was due to be flown to a specialist burns unit at a U.S. army medical center in Texas when his condition permitted. It was the first accident to affect more than 100 IFOR trains that have passed through the Czech Republic so far. -- Steve Kettle

    [30] SHOULD SLOVAKIA HAVE JOINED IFOR?

    The liberal Slovak daily Sme on 18December ran an editorial suggesting that Slovak troops should have been sent to be part of IFOR in Bosnia rather than UNCRO in eastern Slavonia. "We missed an opportunity to show NATO the firmness of our determination to gain membership and to willingly bear all the consequences of this decision. And we missed a suitable chance to [show] our citizens that NATO is not an umbrella which shields us without us even lifting a finger. No one will bring us security and NATO membership on a golden platter. We will have to deserve them and to bear certain sacrifices." -- Sharon Fisher and Patrick Moore

    [31] RUSSIA SENDS PEACEKEEPERS TO BOSNIA TO BOLSTER PRESTIGE.

    In a presentation to the Russian Federation Council on 5 January, a representative of the Russian General Staff, Col.-Gen. Leontii Shevtsov, argued that Russia must participate in IFOR or it will be marginalized in the creation of a new European security order, Ekho Moskvy reported. If Russia did not take part, he said, "everything will be done in Europe without us." Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Afanasievsky then told the assembled deputies that the deployment was "necessary for the prestige of Russia on the international scene." Despite some critical comments about the command arrangements for the Russian brigade, which place it under de facto NATO command, the Council approved the deployment by a vote of 137-2 with 2 abstentions. According to Izvestiya on 5 January, however, it remains unclear just how the project will be funded. The one-year operation will cost over $40 million according to military officials, who added that the 1996 military budget does not provide funds for the Bosnia deployment. -- Scott Parrish

    [32] UKRAINE SIGNS COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH SERBIA.

    Agreements on cultural and economic cooperation were signed between Serbia and Ukraine following a four-day visit by a Ukrainian delegation to Serbia, Serbian television reported on 26 December. The agreement on economic cooperation calls for joint investments and developing trade relations between the countries. The cultural agreement was directed at cooperation between the universities in Banja Luka -- which is on Bosnian Serb territory -- and Chernivtsi. Ukrainian foreign ministry officials have recently made statements on their readiness to establish ties with Serbia. -- Ustina Markus

    [33] FIRST GREEK IFOR TROOPS OFF TO BOSNIA.

    The first contingent of Greek troops departed for Bosnia on 3 January, Greek and international media reported. Some 53 soldiers and 26 vehicles were scheduled to leave on 3 January for Ploce aboard the armored vehicle landing craft Samos, and from there to the Bosnian town of Visoko northwest of Sarajevo. A 16-member reconnaissance unit had left Greece at the end of December. A total of 250 Greek soldiers are to be deployed on territory controlled by the Bosnian government as part of a supply unit. Greece will also furnish three military vessels and helicopters. -- Stefan Krause

    [34] GREEK PLANE ABORTS LANDING IN SARAJEVO AFTER BEING SHOT AT.

    A Greek Hercules C-130 plane on the evening of 6 January came under fire as it approached Sarajevo airport , AFP and Greek media reported the following day. The plane was bearing equipment for the Greek IFOR contingent, as well as medical and other supplies. "We don't know if the plane was targeted. It wasn't hit, but the crew thought it was best to turn back," AFP cited a Greek official as saying. The crew aborted the landing approach and continued to the next scheduled stop in Tuzla. There was no damage, and celebratory fire for Orthodox Christmas may have been responsible for the shots. -- Stefan Krause

    Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

    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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