Read the Bulletin of New Terminology for the Greek Language (by the Academy of Athens) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Wednesday, 20 November 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 1, No. 29, 97-05-13

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty <http://www.rferl.org>

RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol. 1, No. 29, 13 May 1997


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] AZERBAIJAN CLAIMS ARMENIA HAS CHEMICAL WEAPONS
  • [02] TAJIK TALKS RESCHEDULED
  • [03] FIRST WINNER IN KAZAKSTAN'S LATEST OIL TENDER

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [04] ALBRIGHT SAYS ALBANIAN ELECTIONS MUST GO AHEAD
  • [05] ALBANIAN POLITICAL PARTIES STILL DEADLOCKED ON ELECTION LAW
  • [06] INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WARNS CROATIA
  • [07] GEN. JOULWAN WANTS MORE TROOPS FOR BOSNIA
  • [08] PLAVSIC SAYS BOSNIAN SERBS WILL NOT START WAR
  • [09] MONTENEGRIN PRIME MINISTER SLAMS BELGRADE
  • [10] SERBIAN MINISTER THREATENS RADIO OVER "LIES"
  • [11] NATO LAUNCHES EXERCISE IN MACEDONIA
  • [12] WORLD BANK PRESIDENT PRAISES ROMANIAN REFORMS
  • [13] CLUJ MAYOR LAYS DOWN CONDITIONS FOR HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT'S VISIT
  • [14] CHISINAU, TRANSDNIESTER DISAGREE ON INTERPRETATION OF MEMORANDUM
  • [15] MOLDOVAN PREMIER ON RELATIONS WITH ROMANIA
  • [16] BULGARIAN ADMINISTRATION TO BE STREAMLINED
  • [17] BULGARIAN CARETAKER PREMIER QUESTIONS BULGARGAS CLAIMS ABOUT GAS RESERVES

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [18] THE KOSOVO SHADOW STATE AND ITS INVISIBLE PARLIAMENT

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] AZERBAIJAN CLAIMS ARMENIA HAS CHEMICAL WEAPONS

    Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev claims Armenia has been supplied with five truckloads of "defensive" chemical weapons and ten truckloads of "offensive" ones, Moskovskii komsomolets reports today. Armenia ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention in March 1994. Last week, Armenian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian expressed concern that Azerbaijan has not yet done so, according to Noyan Tapan on 8 May.

    [02] TAJIK TALKS RESCHEDULED

    The next round of talks between the Tajik government and the United Tajik Opposition will not take place on 16 May as scheduled, ITAR-TASS reported. Both sides agree that Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov and UTO leader Said Abdullo Nuri must meet before representatives return to the negotiating table. The two men are tentatively scheduled to hold talks in the Kyrgyz capital on 17 May. Representatives would then meet in Tehran on 20 May to resume discussions on legalizing opposition parties in Tajikistan. ITAR- TASS quotes a "diplomatic source" in Dushanbe as saying the duration of the Tehran talks will depend on the success of the meeting between Rakhmonov and Nuri.

    [03] FIRST WINNER IN KAZAKSTAN'S LATEST OIL TENDER

    An Indonesian company has bought a majority stake in one of three state oil companies in Kazakstan undergoing privatization this week, Interfax reported yesterday. Central Asia Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of Indonesia's Medco Energy Corp., took 60% of the shares in Mangistaumunaigaz, located in western Kazakstan. Before 1991, the company produced 25 million tons of oil a year, but following independence, annual production fell to 4.5 million tons. The new owner will invest more than $4 billion over 20 years. An estimated 200 million tons of crude remain to be exploited. Reuters reports that the two other companies up for sale this week are Aktyubinskmunaigaz, which is offering 85% of its shares, and Uzenmunaigaz, believed to be located on Kazakstan's second-largest oil field after Tengiz.

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [04] ALBRIGHT SAYS ALBANIAN ELECTIONS MUST GO AHEAD

    U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Prime Minister Bashkim Fino in Washington yesterday that the early elections slated for 29 June must proceed. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said her message is that "the U.S. and Europe will not tolerate attempts by one party or faction to delay or obstruct the important process of the preparations for the elections."

    [05] ALBANIAN POLITICAL PARTIES STILL DEADLOCKED ON ELECTION LAW

    The ten parties in the coalition government failed again in Tirana yesterday to agree on a new election law. The final text must reach President Sali Berisha by 15 May if elections are to take place on 29 June, because Albanian law requires 45 days' notice before such a ballot. Meanwhile in Brindisi, Italian authorities announced that a salvaging company has found the wreck of the Albanian tug that sank on 28 March with more than 80 people on board. And in Rome, police stated that a dragnet yesterday against Albanian smugglers resulted in the detention of 126 illegal migrants and the seizure of $34 million worth of marijuana.

    [06] INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WARNS CROATIA

    The ambassadors of the Contact Group countries called on Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic in Zagreb yesterday to strengthen his country's ties with Bosnia-Herzegovina, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from the Croatian capital. Earlier, U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith gave President Franjo Tudjman a letter from U.S. counterpart Bill Clinton urging Tudjman to improve relations with Sarajevo and Belgrade. The U.S. president also insisted that Zagreb cooperate fully with the Hague- based war crimes tribunal. He promised to help Croatia achieve integration in Western political and military institutions if Tudjman complies. If he does not, Washington will block Croatia's relations with the IMF, Clinton said. Domestic and foreign critics have accused Tudjman of seeking economic integration with the West while maintaining his foreign policy.

    [07] GEN. JOULWAN WANTS MORE TROOPS FOR BOSNIA

    Gen. George Joulwan, NATO's commander in Europe, said in Washington yesterday that 3,000 more troops from the alliance may go to Bosnia. He argued that the additional SFOR soldiers could be necessary to ensure that the September local elections run smoothly, especially in the contested regions of Mostar and Brcko. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, a SFOR spokesman said that Bosnian Gen. Atif Dudakovic threatened Canadian troops over the weekend when they tried to confiscate unauthorized anti-aircraft weapons from the Fifth Corps in the Bihac area.

    [08] PLAVSIC SAYS BOSNIAN SERBS WILL NOT START WAR

    Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic says the Bosnian Serbs will never start a new war but that their army will preserve peace and, if necessary, defend the Republika Srpska. She noted that the Dayton peace treaty gives the Bosnian Serbs "a high degree of sovereignty." Plavsic was speaking at a parade in Prijedor in which some 2,500 soldiers took part to mark Bosnian Serb army day. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, the government of the mainly Croatian and Muslim Federation said it is willing to resettle 50,000 ethnic Serb refugees in the Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Zenica regions, Nasa Borba reports today.

    [09] MONTENEGRIN PRIME MINISTER SLAMS BELGRADE

    Milo Djukanovic said in Podgorica yesterday that federal Yugoslav diplomats in Athens are obstructing payment of the Greek credits that he recently negotiated for Montenegro. He accused the diplomats of "shocking behavior" and of working against the republic's interests, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Podgorica. This development marks a further heightening of tensions between Djukanovic and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

    [10] SERBIAN MINISTER THREATENS RADIO OVER "LIES"

    Borisav Stevanovic, the director of the opposition-run Radio-Television Kragujevac, told AFP on 11 May that his company is "proud to be targeted in an attack by a corrupt and incompetent regime." Serbian Information Minister Radmila Milentijevic said in an interview with Belgrade's Dnevni telegraf the same day that the station will have to "pay for" its repeated warnings to listeners that state- supplied news bulletins are "lies." She added that Radio- Television Serbia "must take control of Radio- Television Kragujevac and bring its management to justice." Milentijevic also said recently that Serbia has no "need for radio like Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, and [Radio] Free Europe." A few months ago, she returned to Serbia after living in the U.S. for decades and has taken charge of media policy in the runup to elections due later this year.

    [11] NATO LAUNCHES EXERCISE IN MACEDONIA

    Some 1,000 soldiers from nine countries began a five-day NATO- sponsored military exercise in central Macedonia yesterday. Operation Savior simulates a chemical disaster caused by an earthquake. NATO-member participants are Italy, Greece, Turkey, and the U.S.. Soldiers from Albania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Romania, and Macedonia are taking part within NATO's Partnership for Peace program. Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic, all of which are expected to be included in NATO's first wave of eastward expansion, have sent observers. This is the first multinational military exercise to be held in Macedonia.

    [12] WORLD BANK PRESIDENT PRAISES ROMANIAN REFORMS

    James Wolfensohn says Romania has made "enormous progress" toward economic reform in recent months and notes that there has also been progress in the realm of social protection. He told a press conference yesterday that the situation is "less good" in rural areas, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Wolfensohn announced that the bank will grant Romania loans totaling $625 million, of which $ 330 million will be granted this year. Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea emphasized at the press conference that the loans were "considerably larger" than those originally envisaged. Wolfensohn was received by President Emil Constantinescu and by the chairmen of the two chambers of parliament. This was the first visit to Romania by a World Bank president in 20 years.

    [13] CLUJ MAYOR LAYS DOWN CONDITIONS FOR HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT'S VISIT

    Gheorghe Funar says he will picket a visit planned later this month by Hungarian President Arpad Goencz unless the guest agrees to renounce what Funar says are irredentist claims to Romanian territory, Romanian and Hungarian media report. Funar said Goencz made those claims in a book on Transylvania which he wrote a few years ago. Funar is also objecting to the planned opening of the Hungarian consulate in Cluj during Goencz's visit. Last week, Funar, who was dismissed in March as leader of the Party of Romanian National Unity, wrote to President Emil Constantinescu to protest the visit.

    [14] CHISINAU, TRANSDNIESTER DISAGREE ON INTERPRETATION OF MEMORANDUM

    President Petru Lucinschi says the 8 May memorandum on normalizing relations with the separatist Transdniester region commits both sides to developing "relations within the framework of a single state." Lucinschi spoke to reporters in Chisinau after his return from Moscow. But separatist leader Igor Smirnov said at a press conference in Tiraspol yesterday that the memorandum recognizes the existence of "two states." Lucinschi demanded the removal of border and custom guard posts along the Dniester River by 1 June and the setting up of joint check points along the Ukrainian border. He said Tiraspol must now allow schools in the region that offer "Moldovan-language" instruction to use the Latin script, BASA-press and Infotag reported yesterday.

    [15] MOLDOVAN PREMIER ON RELATIONS WITH ROMANIA

    Ion Ciubuc says relations between his country and Romania "go beyond normal ties between neighbors." In an interview with Rompres ahead of his visit to Romania this week, Ciubuc said the two peoples' "common historical origin" transforms their relationship into one of a "special character" with a "spiritual" dimension. Ciubuc also said Romanian President Emil Constantinescu's proposal to set up two "Euroregions" in areas where the Moldovan, Ukrainian, and Romanian borders converge (introduced in the recent Romanian-Ukrainian treaty) is a framework for solving both economic and ethnic-cultural problems.

    [16] BULGARIAN ADMINISTRATION TO BE STREAMLINED

    Ivan Kostov, the candidate for premier of the coalition United Democratic Forces, says he is determined to cut bureaucracy and make administration efficient. RFE/RL's Sofia bureau reported yesterday that Kostov said administrative reform will be financed by a $700 million grant from the EU's Phare program. He said streamlining means that government employees can do more work in less time.

    [17] BULGARIAN CARETAKER PREMIER QUESTIONS BULGARGAS CLAIMS ABOUT GAS RESERVES

    Stefan Sofiyanski says he "seriously doubts" the claims of Bulgargas director Petar Sabaev that the country has enough natural gas reserves for the next 20 years. Stoyanov spoke yesterday in response to a statement by Sabaev one day earlier, an RFE/RL correspondent in Sofia reported. During a visit to Moscow last month, Stoyanov signed an agreement on imports and pipeline transit of Russian gas through Bulgaria, but the agreement did not specify prices or fees. Sabaev also announced that Bulgargas has started negotiations with the U.S. company ARCO for joint exploitation of reserves in four different locations, which, he said, were "a trade secret."

    [C] END NOTE

    [18] THE KOSOVO SHADOW STATE AND ITS INVISIBLE PARLIAMENT

    by Fabian Schmidt

    In late May, the Kosovar shadow-state parliament's term was due to run out, five years after the underground vote that elected it. Shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova recently extended the parliament's mandate by decree and said new elections will be held by 24 December. His Western backers, however, would prefer that the Kosovars give up the shadow state completely and return to Serbian political life.

    The parliament, which came to power on 24 May 1992 in elections considered illegal by Belgrade, has never convened. Police blocked the one attempt to hold an opening session of the legislature, which took place soon after the vote. Since then, deputies have repeatedly met in small groups and Kosovar political parties have sought to maintain a consensus among themselves by setting up a multi-party coordination council. But Rugova’s Democratic League of Kosovo has used the council to dominate the shadow- state's political life. And the shadow state, for its part, has repeatedly failed to pump life into its legislature.

    Owing to the deadlock between Pristina and Belgrade, opposition parties within Kosovo have stepped up pressure to give the underground legislators more responsibility. They argue that the inability of the shadow state to form internal democratic structures and debate its strategy contributes to its political failure. Adem Demaci, leader of the opposition Parliamentary Party and a leading human rights activist, has gained the support of 57 deputies to demand that the parliament finally meet. But the backing of at least 66 out of a total of 130 legislators is needed for that move, and it is unlikely that Rugova and his party will support Demaci in this initiative. Rugova, in fact, has made clear that the legislators will continue to meet in committees only.

    Previously, Demaci had said he would run against Rugova but at the same time had expressed doubts about holding new elections. The independent Pristina weekly Koha quoted him as asking rhetorically at a press conference in late April: "Who would organize [new elections] and who would have the moral right to hold [them]?" He added that `the people would become the victim of our political games' if such a vote were held.

    The shadow state is now faced with a growing dilemma. On the one hand, it has presented itself over the past five years as the legitimate, democratically elected representative of Kosovo’s population. But at the same time, it has failed to inject life into its most fundamental democratic institution. Furthermore, the exile government of Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi has been convening since 1990 but has no accountability to the legislature. That government was appointed by deputies of the former communist-era parliament and has since financed the shadow-state’s underground education and health systems by collecting taxes from Kosovars working abroad. However, it has had little influence on Rugova's policies and has been constantly plagued by turf wars.

    At the same time, the West is increasingly pressuring the Kosovars to recognize that they do not enjoy international support in their desire for independence from Serbia and to tailor their policies accordingly. At a meeting with Rugova last week, Richard Miles, the U.S. charge d'affaires in Belgrade, made clear that the U.S. does not support new underground elections. Rugova’s decision to postpone the ballot again for half a year may have been prompted by Miles’s admonitions, but Rugova may also have opted for a December vote because he believed it was impossible to organize an underground election sooner.

    Whatever the case, all countries concerned, including Albania, have accepted that a solution must be found within the framework of a democratic Serbia and through peaceful negotiations. Observers argue that the Kosovars need to launch a discussion about their political goals and how to achieve them. They also say that, like the Serbs, the Kosovars need to develop democratic institutions through which they can debate difficult and controversial issues. With or without new elections, the underground parliament could become such a forum.


    Reprinted with permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    URL: http://www.rferl.org


    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    rferl2html v1.01 run on Tuesday, 13 May 1997 - 14:09:44 UTC