Read the New Military Service Law (Hellenic MOD Mirror on HR-Net) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Sunday, 8 December 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. 3, No. 150, 99-08-04

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. 3, No. 150, 4 August 1999


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN MINISTRY PROTESTS IRAN'S SUPPORT FOR
  • [02] AZERBAIJANI POLICE PREVENT PICKET OF U.S. EMBASSY
  • [03] GEORGIAN MINISTER OF STATE IN MOSCOW
  • [04] ADZHAR LEADER INCRIMINATED IN GEORGIAN MERCHANT FLEET
  • [05] MORE REPRISALS AGAINST MEDIA IN KAZAKHSTAN
  • [06] MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN KAZAKHSTAN DEMAND BACK WAGES
  • [07] TAJIK OPPOSITION ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF DEMILITARIZATION

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [08] TWO MORE SERBS KILLED IN KOSOVA
  • [09] KFOR AT CENTER OF CONTROVERSY
  • [10] KFOR ARRESTS FIVE ETHNIC ALBANIAN MURDER SUSPECTS
  • [11] RUGOVA PLEDGES PARTICIPATION IN KOSOVA TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL
  • [12] UNHCR COMPLAINS ABOUT MACEDONIAN CUSTOMS FEES
  • [13] TAIWAN'S PREMIER VISITS MACEDONIA
  • [14] PETRITSCH SAYS MILOSEVIC REGIME 'BEYOND HOPE'
  • [15] SERBIAN PROTESTS CONTINUE
  • [16] SERBIAN AUTHORITIES THREATEN OPPONENTS WITH LAWSUITS
  • [17] NEW ELECTION LAW FOR BOSNIA
  • [18] BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTERS AGREE ON DEBT
  • [19] CONTROVERSY CONTINUES OVER BOSNIAN BORDER AGREEMENT
  • [20] DODIK BLASTS BOSNIAN TELEVISION LAW
  • [21] CROATIA MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF 'OPERATION STORM'
  • [22] ROMANIAN STATISTICS SHOW CONTINUED ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN
  • [23] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION TO COORDINATE POLICIES
  • [24] MOLDOVAN COMMISSION RELEASES CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE PROPOSALS

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [25] DJUKANOVIC'S MOSCOW VISIT SEEN AS 'TURNING POINT'

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN MINISTRY PROTESTS IRAN'S SUPPORT FOR

    DJAVADOV

    Iranian Ambassador Ali Rza Bikdeli was summoned to

    the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on 3 August to hear Minister

    Tofik Zulfugarov's formal complaint over the continued

    presence in Iran of former Interior Ministry special forces

    officer Mahir Djavadov, Turan reported. Djavadov fled

    Azerbaijan in March 1995 after a standoff between the

    Interior Ministry special forces and Azerbaijani army troops,

    in which his brother Rovshan was killed. He traveled to Iran

    late last year and has repeatedly announced his intention of

    taking power in Azerbaijan (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report,"

    Vol. 2, No. 12, 23 March 1999). Zulfugarov said that Tehran's

    failure to curtail Djavadov's "illegal activities" negatively

    affects relations between the two countries. Also on 3

    August, Azerbaijani State Foreign Policy Adviser Vafa

    Guluzade said that Iran's failure to extradite Djavadov could

    lead to the postponement of the planned visit to Iran by

    Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3

    August 1999). LF

    [02] AZERBAIJANI POLICE PREVENT PICKET OF U.S. EMBASSY

    Police on

    4 August thwarted an attempt by political parties aligned in

    the Coordinating Council for Karabakh to demonstrate outside

    the U.S. embassy in Baku to protest the U.S.'s alleged double

    standards in its policy toward Azerbaijan and Armenia, Turan

    reported. A similar attempt the previous day by members of

    the Liberty Party was also blocked by police. LF

    [03] GEORGIAN MINISTER OF STATE IN MOSCOW

    Vazha Lortkipanidze met

    in Moscow on 3 August with his Russian counterpart, Sergei

    Stepashin, First Deputy Premier Nikolai Aksenenko, Foreign

    Minister Igor Ivanov, Russian Security Council Secretary and

    Federal Security Service Director Vladimir Putin, and Moscow

    Mayor Yurii Luzhkov. The talks reportedly focused on issues

    that have increased tensions in bilateral relations,

    including the Abkhaz conflict and the future of the four

    Russian military bases in Georgia. Lortkipanidze told

    journalists on 4 August that he will meet that evening in

    Moscow with Abkhaz leader Vladislav Ardzinba, Caucasus Press

    reported. LF

    [04] ADZHAR LEADER INCRIMINATED IN GEORGIAN MERCHANT FLEET

    SCANDAL

    Georgian Prosecutor-General Djamlet Babilashvili

    told journalists in Tbilisi on 3 August that several leading

    officials from the Adjar Autonomous Republic are responsible

    for the near bankruptcy of the Georgian merchant fleet,

    Caucasus Press and Interfax reported. Babilashvili accused

    Batumi Mayor Aslan Smirba of misappropriating $120,000

    belonging to the fleet, adding that a further $250,000 was

    illegally transferred from the fleet's London bank account to

    a fund controlled by Adjar Supreme Council chairman and

    Georgian presidential candidate Aslan Abashidze. Abashidze's

    Revival Union is the second largest faction within the

    Georgian parliament, and observers believe the five party

    alliance that he heads may pose a serious threat to the

    ruling Union of Citizens of Georgia in the October

    parliamentary elections. Smirba has denied the accusations

    against him. The Georgian merchant fleet owes some $100

    million to foreign creditors. LF

    [05] MORE REPRISALS AGAINST MEDIA IN KAZAKHSTAN

    Court proceedings

    are under way in Almaty against the independent weekly

    "Nachnem s ponedelnika," RFE/RL correspondents in the former

    capital reported on 4 August. The newspaper's staff are

    accused of having published false statements critical of the

    Almaty City Court. On 3 August, the Committee to Protect

    Journalists wrote to Kazakhstan's President Nursultan

    Nazarbaev expressing concern at the harassment by

    Kazakhstan's National Security Committee of Bigeldy

    Gabdullin, who is editor-in-chief of the independent

    newspaper "XXI vek." LF

    [06] MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN KAZAKHSTAN DEMAND BACK WAGES

    Dozens of

    doctors and other medical personnel staged a demonstration in

    Almaty on 3 August to demand payment of overdue salaries,

    RFE/RL correspondents in the former capital reported. They

    also demanded the rescinding of a decision by local

    authorities to reduce the number of personnel employed in

    local hospitals and clinics. LF

    [07] TAJIK OPPOSITION ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF DEMILITARIZATION

    United Tajik Opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri told a

    session of the Tajik Commission for National Reconciliation

    on 3 August that the process of disarming opposition fighters

    and of their enrolment into the Tajik army or Interior

    Ministry forces has been completed, marking the

    transformation of the opposition from a military into a

    political force. A second senior UTO official, Khabib

    Sanginov, stressed that the disarmament process is

    irreversible, according to ITAR-TASS. Also on 3 August, the

    Commission for National Reconciliation issued an appeal to

    all armed bands not subordinate to the UTO to surrender their

    arms within three weeks. Under an agreement signed in June by

    Nuri and Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov, the Tajik

    government is obliged to lift the 1993 ban on opposition

    parties and media within one week of the disbanding of the

    UTO's military units. Paolo Lembo, who is acting

    representative in Tajikistan of the UN secretary-general,

    termed the demilitarization of the opposition a further step

    toward democratization. He expressed the hope that the

    upcoming parliamentary elections will be free and fair. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [08] TWO MORE SERBS KILLED IN KOSOVA

    A spokesman for KFOR said in

    Prishtina on 4 August that peacekeepers have found the bodies

    of two Serbs whom unknown persons shot the previous night. At

    least two other Serbs died on 2 August as a result of acts of

    violence, including a 90 year-old woman. On 3 August, the New

    York-based Human Rights Watch and the Budapest-based Roma

    Rights Center issued separate reports in which they blamed

    the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) for recent violence against

    Serbs and Roma. Both reports criticized KFOR for not doing

    enough to protect members of Kosova's dwindling Serbian and

    Roma minorities. PM

    [09] KFOR AT CENTER OF CONTROVERSY

    Bishop Artemije, who is

    Kosova's leading Serbian Orthodox cleric, told Vienna's "Die

    Presse" of 3 August that KFOR must either protect the

    province's minorities or leave. He argued that UCK leaders

    Hashim Thaci and General Agim Ceku have not sufficiently

    "distanced themselves" from the violent incidents against

    Serbs. Belgrade's "Danas" on 4 August quoted KFOR commander

    General Sir Michael Jackson as saying that no one should be

    surprised that Serbs have been the victims of violence in

    Kosova. He denied, however, that the violence is systematic

    or amounts to "ethnic cleansing." PM

    [10] KFOR ARRESTS FIVE ETHNIC ALBANIAN MURDER SUSPECTS

    KFOR

    soldiers arrested five Kosova Albanians in Peja on 3 August.

    The five are suspected of having taken a Serbian couple

    hostage and killing the man after releasing his wife the

    previous day. Meanwhile on 3 August in Mitrovica, French KFOR

    soldiers arrested 15 Serbs who tried to hinder ethnic

    Albanians from returning to their homes in the Serb-held part

    of the city. The soldiers also confiscated a machine gun and

    a grenade, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. One of those

    arrested was a member of Serbian paramilitary forces and was

    suspected of having committed atrocities against ethnic

    Albanians between March and June. FS

    [11] RUGOVA PLEDGES PARTICIPATION IN KOSOVA TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL

    Kosovar Albanian moderate leader Ibrahim Rugova on 3 August

    promised that his Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) will

    participate in the Kosova transitional council along with

    other political parties, "Bota Sot" reported. He made the

    pledge at a meeting with UN Special Representative Bernard

    Kouchner in Prishtina. Rugova urged Kouchner to accelerate

    the process of installing the international administration in

    Kosova at "all levels" of government. FS

    [12] UNHCR COMPLAINS ABOUT MACEDONIAN CUSTOMS FEES

    UNHCR

    spokesman Chris Janowski told AP that Macedonian officials

    demand "exorbitant" customs inspection fees on humanitarian

    supplies passing through their territory. Janowski said that

    the UNHCR refused to pay the fees, arguing that "we are a

    relief agency which is exempt normally from such fees and

    taxes.... There is no justification whatsoever to charge

    [$348] for the so-called inspection of a UNHCR truck.... The

    fee is...totally out of proportion to the service rendered."

    There are currently 86 trucks with 3,400 tons of aid and 17

    rail cars with 850 tons of timber blocked inside Macedonia.

    Macedonia's authorities imposed the fees in July. The dispute

    is jeopardizing UN efforts to rush in supplies to Kosova to

    rebuild destroyed or damaged houses before the onset of the

    winter. Janowski stressed that the UNHCR would face a monthly

    bill of $200,000 if it agreed to pay the fees. FS

    [13] TAIWAN'S PREMIER VISITS MACEDONIA

    Vincent Siew arrived in

    Skopje on 3 August at the head of a 160-strong business

    delegation, Reuters reported. Siew and his Macedonian

    counterpart, Ljubco Georgievski, are scheduled to inaugurate

    a tax-free economic zone in Petrovac, near Skopje airport.

    Siew told "Nova Makedonija" that "in the long term, our plan

    is that Macedonia becomes Taiwan's gateway to southeastern

    Europe, even to other European regions.... After the zone is

    completed, Taiwanese companies will be the first to invest in

    it, and we also expect foreign and local companies to do so."

    He stressed that the creation of similar free economic zones

    has greatly contributed to Taiwan's economic development.

    Macedonia is the only European country that recognizes

    Taiwan, apart from the Vatican. FS

    [14] PETRITSCH SAYS MILOSEVIC REGIME 'BEYOND HOPE'

    Austrian

    diplomat and Balkan expert Wolfgang Petritsch said in

    Belgrade on 3 August that he has "given up hope that the

    regime [of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic] will be

    ready to reform itself and become a partner in the

    democratization and stabilization of this region." Petritsch

    stressed that Serbia must follow Montenegro's example and

    embrace democratization. He urged the international community

    not to deny humanitarian aid to the "Serbian people," Reuters

    reported. The Frankfurt-based Serbian daily "Vesti" quoted

    Petritsch as saying that the Milosevic regime could have

    prevented NATO bombing had it been more willing to compromise

    at the Rambouillet peace talks in February. Petritsch said

    that Serbian delegates at one point offered to admit foreign

    troops to Kosova but then withdrew that key concession the

    following day. Petritsch ended his mission as Austrian

    ambassador to Belgrade and will soon succeed the

    international community's Carlos Westendorp in Sarajevo. PM

    [15] SERBIAN PROTESTS CONTINUE

    Some 3,000 people attended an

    anti-Milosevic rally in Vrsac on 3 August, RFE/RL's South

    Slavic Service reported. Several hundred people attended

    separate rallies in Kragujevac, Valjevo, and Leskovac. In

    Belgrade, Serbian Renewal Movement leader Vuk Draskovic said

    that he accepts the invitation from a group of independent

    economists to attend an opposition rally in Belgrade on 19

    August (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 August 1999). Democratic

    Party leader Zoran Djindjic previously accepted the

    invitation. PM

    [16] SERBIAN AUTHORITIES THREATEN OPPONENTS WITH LAWSUITS

    The

    opposition Vojvodina Coalition said in a 3 August statement

    that the authorities have threatened to launch legal action

    against several farmers. The farmers recently told RFE/RL's

    South Slavic Service that the minister of agriculture should

    resign (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 August 1999). In Belgrade,

    Aleksandar Nikacevic, who is the new, pro-Milosevic head of

    Radio B-92, said he will launch legal proceedings against

    Draskovic's Studio B Television. That station recently gave

    one of its frequencies to Radio B2-92, which is run by the

    independent journalists who formerly staffed B-92 before the

    authorities took it over in March. Nikacevic charged that the

    creation of B2-92 has led to unspecified financial losses for

    his station, Reuters reported. Elsewhere, several senior

    Serbian officials and state-run media said that the U.S. is

    "trying to conquer Serbia" by placing Milosevic's opponents

    in power, AP reported. PM

    [17] NEW ELECTION LAW FOR BOSNIA

    Representatives of the OSCE said

    in Sarajevo on 3 August that a draft election law for Bosnia

    is ready. The law aims at breaking the grip of Serbian,

    Muslim, and Croatian nationalist parties on the electorate.

    The provisions require candidates to win at least some of

    their votes both in the Republika Srpska and in the mainly

    Croatian and Muslim federation. In addition, voters will no

    longer be able to vote for party lists but will have to mark

    the names of each candidate individually. PM

    [18] BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTERS AGREE ON DEBT

    Republika Srpska Prime

    Minister Milorad Dodik and Edhem Bicakcic, who is his

    counterpart from the federation, agreed in Banja Luka on 3

    August to divide between their respective governments

    Bosnia's outstanding debts to the European Bank for

    Reconstruction and Development. The agreement paves the way

    for the release of $170 million in new loans from the bank to

    Bosnia, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

    [19] CONTROVERSY CONTINUES OVER BOSNIAN BORDER AGREEMENT

    Republika Srpska Vice President Mirko Sarovic said in Banja

    Luka on 3 August that the recent Bosnian-Croatian border

    agreement violates the Republika Srpska constitution. He

    called for the resignation of the two top ethnic Serbian

    officials who approved the agreement (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"

    3 August 1999). In Sarajevo, a spokesman for Westendorp's

    office said that the agreement changes nothing and simply

    "reaffirms the legal border." He charged that unnamed Bosnian

    Serb leaders are trying to use the issue for their own

    political ends. PM

    [20] DODIK BLASTS BOSNIAN TELEVISION LAW

    Dodik said in Banja Luka

    on 3 August that the new law establishing a public

    broadcasting service for all of Bosnia is "not acceptable" to

    the Republika Srpska (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 August 1999).

    In Sarajevo, Westendorp's spokesman defended the law, which

    he said "is not about politics [but] is about joining the

    real world," Reuters reported. PM

    [21] CROATIA MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF 'OPERATION STORM'

    Croatia on 5

    August celebrates a national holiday marking the anniversary

    of the 1995 Operation Storm, during which Croatian forces

    completed their conquest of the Serbian-held Krajina region.

    Justice Minister Zvonimir Separovic said that any persons who

    committed war crimes against Serbian civilians during the

    offensive are now behind bars, "Vecernji list" reported on 4

    August. He added, however, that the government must protect

    its "security interests" and will not give the Hague-based

    war crimes tribunal the documents about Operation Storm that

    it has requested. In Knin, local police officials denied

    recent charges by a human rights group that the rights of

    returning Serbs are being systematically abused, "Vjesnik"

    reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 August 1999). Some 200,000

    Serbs fled Krajina in the wake of Operation Storm, Belgrade's

    "Danas" reported. PM

    [22] ROMANIAN STATISTICS SHOW CONTINUED ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN

    Industrial production from January-May 1999 dropped by 9.4

    percent, compared with the same period last year, Rompres

    reported on 3 August, citing the National Statistics

    Commission. The sharpest drop (13 percent) was registered in

    the energy and mining sectors. The foreign trade deficit

    stood at $831.6 million, compared with $1.1 billion in 1998.

    That decrease is mostly due to a drop in imports (18.6

    percent), although exports also dropped (8.6 percent). The

    inflation rate was 30.8 percent in the first six months of

    1999 and 48.2 percent for the past 12 months. Experts on the

    commission said that the government's intention to keep

    inflation this year at 32-35 percent (recently revised to 40

    percent) is unlikely to be met. Unemployment in June 1999

    reached 11.3, up 2.4 percent on the level in June 1998. MS

    [23] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION TO COORDINATE POLICIES

    Representatives

    of five opposition parties on 3 August agreed to set up a

    Consultative Coordination Group, which will examine draft

    laws presented in the parliament by the ruling coalition and

    will strive to adopt a common stand on those legislative

    proposals, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Each party

    will be represented on the new body by one deputy and one

    senator. The formations included in the group are the Party

    of Social Democracy in Romania, the Greater Romania Party,

    the Party of Romanian National Unity, the Alliance for

    Romania, and the Romanian National Party, whose chairman,

    Viorel Catarama, initiated the setting up of the group. The

    Union of Right Forces and the National Christian Democratic

    Alliance declined to take part in the new forum. MS

    [24] MOLDOVAN COMMISSION RELEASES CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE PROPOSALS

    The presidential commission on amending the constitution on 2

    August published its proposals. In addition to the proposals

    made public last week (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 July 1999),

    the commission recommends that the president, rather than the

    parliament, have the prerogative of appointing and dismissing

    the premier and other ministers, Reuters and RFE/RL's

    Chisinau bureau reported. The president would head the

    Supreme Council on National Security and appoint the

    prosecutor-general and judges. And the head of state would

    also have the right to dissolve the parliament if deputies

    block a draft law for longer than 60 days. Deputies will be

    elected from constituencies under a single-mandate

    representation system that will replace that of single-

    constituency proportional representation on the basis of

    party lists. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [25] DJUKANOVIC'S MOSCOW VISIT SEEN AS 'TURNING POINT'

    by Floriana Fossato

    Despite the lack of public comment from top Russian

    officials following their talks with Montenegrin President

    Milo Djukanovic in Moscow on 2 August, most Russian media are

    describing the visit as a "turning point" in the country's

    foreign policy.

    Djukanovic's official visit was the first time that a

    leader who has challenged Yugoslav President Slobodan

    Milosevic was warmly received at the top levels in Moscow.

    Ahead of the Moscow trip, Djukanovic had repeated

    earlier warnings that Montenegro might declare its

    independence unless Serbia--its larger partner in the

    Yugoslav Federation--introduces substantial reforms leading

    to democracy and a market economy.

    The Russian daily "Kommersant-Daily" wrote on 3 August

    that Djukanovic's visit showed that Russia "intends to forge

    links with democratic forces opposing Slobodan Milosevic." It

    added that "even more important, [the visit indicates that]

    Moscow intends to sever ties with the questionable friends it

    inherited from its [Soviet] past."

    Djukanovic's talks with Russian Prime Minister Sergei

    Stepashin, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, and Moscow Mayor

    Yurii Luzhkov focused on boosting political and economic ties

    between Russia and Montenegro. Russia's Foreign Ministry said

    in a statement that both sides agreed "on the need to solve

    problems in Yugoslavia through dialogue and the existing

    constitutional order."

    Luzhkov--a leading presidential candidate in Russia--was

    the only Russian politician to comment publicly on

    Djukanovic's visit. He spoke in support of Montenegro, saying

    that "we must not allow Milosevic's arbitrariness toward

    Montenegro. This is the most important thing. It could lead

    to a new worsening of the situation." At the same time, the

    Moscow major stressed that that he still considers NATO's

    bombing campaign against Yugoslavia "an act of aggression."

    Stepashin, in footage broadcast by Russian television

    networks, only repeated his view that humanitarian aid should

    be provided to all Yugoslavia, not just the province of

    Kosova and Montenegro. Western countries, including the U.S.,

    say Serbia should be excluded from receiving such aid as long

    as Milosevic remains in power.

    "I think that the position of Russia and of its

    president has played an important role in putting an end to

    military operations," Stepashin commented. "This is something

    that everybody acknowledges and was confirmed also in

    Sarajevo [at the 29-30 July Balkans reconstruction summit].

    Those who, as a result of the military operations, are now in

    a difficult situation, independently of the place where they

    live, need the support of international organizations and

    also of Russia." During the Balkan reconstruction summit,

    however, Stepashin did acknowledge that "the sufferings of

    the Yugoslav population were caused not only by the [NATO]

    bombings but chiefly by Milosevic's regime."

    Djukanovic, for his part, told "Kommersant-Daily" in an

    interview published on 3 August that "it is very important

    that Moscow recognized Milosevic's responsibility for

    Yugoslavia's tragedy. This shattered the illusions of many

    Yugoslavs whom Belgrade had convinced that Russia supported

    Milosevic and would defend him."

    During NATO's 11-week bombing campaign, Russia clearly

    supported Milosevic. Most analysts in Moscow say the new

    pragmatism in Moscow shows an understanding of changed

    circumstances.

    Andrei Piantkovskii, director of the Moscow Center for

    Strategic Studies, told RFE/RL that "this is not the first

    time Russia changed position on an issue. Simply, Russian

    officials have finally understood that support for Milosevic

    leads nowhere and it is time for a change."

    Sergei Rogov, director of the U.S. and Canada Studies

    Institute, told "The Moscow Times" that Russia now is

    "interested in participating in the Balkan settlement and not

    in being associated with anti-Western regimes."

    Russian news agencies reported that in the talks with

    Djukanovic, emphasis was given to the issue of reconstructing

    war-torn Yugoslavia. Russia has promised some $150 million

    from its budget to finance fuel and food supplies this year

    and to promote Russian companies' efforts to win contracts

    for reconstruction in Yugoslavia. Much of the country's

    energy infrastructure was built with Soviet and Russian

    assistance.

    Economy Minister Andrei Shapovalyants said recently that

    his ministry will be in charge of controlling the funds and

    that a special commission focusing on Russia's participation

    in the reconstruction of Yugoslavia will have only a

    "consultative character."

    "Kommersant-Daily" on 3 August reported that the work of

    the special commission--chaired by Stepashin--will likely be

    aimed at facilitating the participation of Russian companies

    in the rebuilding works. It also quoted controversial

    businessman Vladimir Potanin, appointed as Stepashin's deputy

    on the commission, as saying that in order to be able to join

    the group of Western donor countries, Russia "will have to

    convince the West that [by] rebuilding Yugoslavia, it does

    not aim at strengthening Milosevic."

    The author is an RFE/RL correspondent based in Moscow.

    04-08-99


    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 Wednesday, 4 August 1999 - 14:33:11 UTC