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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 3, No. 152, 99-08-06

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. 152, 6 August 1999


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT NOT TO ATTEND SIGNING OF TURKMEN
  • [02] AZERBAIJANI OFFICIAL DENIES DISAGREEMENTS WITH TURKEY OVER
  • [03] STALIN'S GRANDSON ELECTED HEAD OF GEORGIAN LEFT-WING
  • [04] KAZAKH OPPOSITION BLOC THREATENS ELECTION BOYCOTT
  • [05] KAZAKH WOMEN END HUNGER STRIKE
  • [06] KYRGYZ DETAINED IN KAZAKHSTAN TO BE EXTRADITED
  • [07] AFGHAN FIGHTING 'NOT A THREAT' TO TAJIKISTAN
  • [08] TURKMENISTAN TO CREATE NATIONAL BUREAU FOR REFUGEES

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [09] MONTENEGRO UNVEILS PLAN FOR FUTURE TIES WITH SERBIA
  • [10] MONTENEGRIN PROPOSAL PUTS POWER IN REPUBLICS
  • [11] U.S. GIVES MONTENGRIN PROPOSAL CAUTIOUS BACKING
  • [12] LESKOVAC TELEVISION EDITOR FREED
  • [13] RESERVISTS TO TAKE HUNGER STRIKE TO BELGRADE
  • [14] SERBIAN INTERIOR MINISTER WARNS OPPOSITION
  • [15] YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES MOVE AGAINST PRIVATE RADIO
  • [16] YUGOSLAV ARMY DROPS CHARGES AGAINST DJINDJIC
  • [17] AHTISAARI CALLS FOR KFOR TO TAKE CHARGE OF SECURITY
  • [18] SERBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST SAYS PARAMILITARIES WERE
  • [19] ...WARNS OF ALBANIAN 'CULTURE OF BLOOD FEUDS'
  • [20] RUGOVA, THACI MEET WITH KOUCHNER
  • [21] LDK JOINS TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL
  • [22] TAIWAN FREEZES KOSOVA AID AFTER CANCELING PREMIER'S VISIT
  • [23] MACEDONIA LIFTS FEE FOR RELIEF TRUCKS
  • [24] ALBANIAN SPECIAL POLICE TAKE CONTROL OF DURRES PORT
  • [25] IMF APPROVES ROMANIAN STAND-BY LOAN
  • [26] HUNGARIAN LEADER IN ROMANIA URGES CHURCH PROPERTY
  • [27] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT'S CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE MEETS MORE

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [28] TRANSDNIESTRIAN LEADER WARNS AGAINST ATTEMPT TO EVACUATE

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT NOT TO ATTEND SIGNING OF TURKMEN

    PIPELINE AGREEMENT

    Interfax on 5 August quoted an unnamed

    Turkmen government source as stating that Heidar Aliev will

    not attend the 6 August signing in Ashgabat of an agreement

    between the Turkmen government and the PSG company giving the

    latter the rights to extract Turkmen gas and export it via

    the projected Trans-Caspian pipeline. According to ITAR-TASS,

    Niyazov and Aliev agreed during a telephone conversation on 5

    August to meet in the near future to discuss both the gas

    pipeline project and the "equitable division" of the central

    sector of the Caspian. The recent announcement of huge

    reserves of gas in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian has

    called into question the viability of the costly and

    technically problematic Trans-Caspian pipeline project (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 July 1999). LF

    [02] AZERBAIJANI OFFICIAL DENIES DISAGREEMENTS WITH TURKEY OVER

    BAKU-CEYHAN

    Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov told

    journalists on 5 August that Azerbaijan and Turkey could sign

    within one month the four main framework agreements on

    construction of the Baku-Ceyhan export pipeline for Caspian

    oil, Turan reported. He denied persistent rumors that there

    are serious disagreements between Baku and Ankara over the

    terms of the project (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 July 1999).

    Also on 5 August, Interfax quoted Armenian First Deputy

    Energy Minister Kalust Galustian as saying that routing the

    Baku-Ceyhan pipeline via northern Armenia, rather than

    Georgia as planned, would reduce the estimated $2.4 -$3

    billion cost by $500 million. LF

    [03] STALIN'S GRANDSON ELECTED HEAD OF GEORGIAN LEFT-WING

    ALLIANCE

    Yevgenii Dzhughashvili has been elected leader of

    the People's Patriotic Union of Georgia, Russian agencies

    reported on 5 August. That alignment unites a number of left-

    wing parties and organizations. Former Georgian parliamentary

    speaker Vakhtang Goguadze told Interfax that the choice of

    Dzhughashvili, who is 63 and a former Soviet army colonel,

    could serve to consolidate left-wing forces in the run-up to

    the 31 October parliamentary elections. But the United

    Communist Party of Georgia objected to the choice of

    Dzhughashvili over their leader, retired General Panteleimon

    Giorgadze. LF

    [04] KAZAKH OPPOSITION BLOC THREATENS ELECTION BOYCOTT

    Representatives of six opposition parties aligned in the

    "Respublika" bloc convened a press conference in Almaty on 5

    August to demand unspecified amendments that would make the

    present election law more democratic, RFE/RL's bureau in the

    former capital reported. They said that if those change are

    not made, they will consider boycotting the parliamentary

    elections in September-October. The opposition leaders also

    demanded representation on the national and local electoral

    commissions. They said they have addressed an open letter to

    President Nursultan Nazarbaev requesting that the elections

    to the upper chamber of parliament be postponed from

    September to December. LF

    [05] KAZAKH WOMEN END HUNGER STRIKE

    Seven women members of the

    Zher-Ana (Motherland) Party have ended the hunger strike they

    began in Almaty three weeks ago to protest the planned

    privatization of agricultural land, RFE/RL correspondents in

    the former capital reported on 6 August (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 27 July 1999). But their leader said they will

    resume the protest if the parliament returns to discussing

    the draft bill on land ownership, which passed in the first

    reading last month. Discussion of that bill has been shelved

    indefinitely, and Prime Minister Nurlan Balghymbaev said last

    week that conditions are not yet ripe for the sale of

    agricultural land (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 July 1999). LF

    [06] KYRGYZ DETAINED IN KAZAKHSTAN TO BE EXTRADITED

    Kyrgyz

    National Security Ministry official Talant Razzakov confirmed

    on 5 August that 17 Kyrgyz citizens detained by Kazakh police

    three weeks ago in Jambyl Oblast will shortly be sent back to

    Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. The Kyrgyz were

    among 78 Sunni Muslims, including women and children,

    detained for allegedly illegal religious activities at a camp

    near the Kazakh town of Taraz (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 and

    22 July 1999). The Kyrgyz Muftiyat has written to

    Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry protesting the detentions,

    which a Kazakh prosecutor said were carried out in response

    to a request from Uzbekistan. The Uzbek Interior Ministry had

    claimed that radical Islamists suspected of involvement in

    the February bombings in Tashkent had gathered near Taraz.

    Also on 5 August, RFE/RL's Almaty bureau reported that the

    Uzbek embassy held a press conference on the ongoing

    investigation into those bombings. Embassy officials said the

    perpetrators wanted to kill President Islam Karimov and

    establish an Islamic state in Uzbekistan. LF

    [07] AFGHAN FIGHTING 'NOT A THREAT' TO TAJIKISTAN

    General

    Aleksandr Markin, who commands the Russian border guard

    detachment deployed on the frontier between Tajikistan and

    Afghanistan, told Interfax on 5 August that the resurgence of

    heavy fighting in Afghanistan between the Taliban and

    Northern Alliance forces does not threaten Tajikistan's

    security. Markin said his troops have adequate resources to

    maintain the security of the border "under any

    circumstances." LF

    [08] TURKMENISTAN TO CREATE NATIONAL BUREAU FOR REFUGEES

    Mustafa

    Djamil, who heads the UNHCR's regional office, said after

    talks in Ashgabat that Turkmenistan will set up a national

    bureau for refugees by the end of this year, "Nezavisimaya

    gazeta" reported on 5 August. Djamil's discussions in the

    Turkmen capital also focused on the need to expedite the

    return to Tajikistan of refugees who fled during the 1992-

    1997 civil war. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [09] MONTENEGRO UNVEILS PLAN FOR FUTURE TIES WITH SERBIA

    The

    Montenegrin government approved a detailed plan on 5 August

    that would abolish the Yugoslav federation and recast

    Podgorica-Belgrade relations as a loose association of two

    sovereign states. The Montenegrin parliament is slated to

    approve the measure "soon," RFE/RL's South Slavic Service

    reported. It is unclear if the government intends the

    proposal as a basis for negotiations with Belgrade or as a

    "take-it-or-leave-it" proposition. Top Montenegrin officials

    said recently that they will hold a referendum on

    independence if the Serbian authorities do not respond to the

    proposal by late September. PM

    [10] MONTENEGRIN PROPOSAL PUTS POWER IN REPUBLICS

    The plan calls

    for establishing a "Union of Montenegro and Serbia" with a

    unicameral legislature in which Montenegro and Serbia would

    have equal representation, BETA reported on 5 August. The

    cabinet would have a maximum of six ministries with small

    staffs, while each republic would, in effect, have its own

    foreign policy and army, which would be loosely coordinated

    with those of the other. Both sides would have to agree to

    broad joint foreign- and economic-policy goals, which would

    center on integration with Euro-Atlantic structures. Each

    republic would have economic independence and the right to

    introduce its own currency. Any joint currency would have to

    be freely convertible. And each republic would have a veto on

    joint decisions, including the election of the union's

    president and any declaration of war. PM

    [11] U.S. GIVES MONTENGRIN PROPOSAL CAUTIOUS BACKING

    State

    Department spokesman James P. Rubin said in Washington on 5

    August that the Montenegrin proposal is a "measured and

    rational approach to political and economic reform." He added

    that "we think that they should continue to work within

    Yugoslavia to ensure their rights are protected." PM

    [12] LESKOVAC TELEVISION EDITOR FREED

    Ivan Novkovic left the

    Leskovac jail on 5 August after completing a 30-day sentence

    for broadcasting a call for an anti-Milosevic demonstration

    (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 July 1999). He told a rally of some

    4,000 people after his release from prison that he does not

    regret broadcasting the appeal, which led to a series of

    large demonstrations. Novkovic added that he hopes similar

    anti-Milosevic protests will take place in all Serbian towns.

    PM

    [13] RESERVISTS TO TAKE HUNGER STRIKE TO BELGRADE

    A spokesman for

    10 army reservists staging a hunger strike in Nis said on 5

    August that they will continue their 10-day-old protest in

    Belgrade "next week." The spokesman added that the only

    response they have had from the authorities was a police

    threat to remove them from the city center. The reservists

    demand back pay for their recent service in Kosova. PM

    [14] SERBIAN INTERIOR MINISTER WARNS OPPOSITION

    Vlajko

    Stojiljkovic said in Kraljevo on 5 August that KFOR troops

    have failed to protect Serbian civilians in Kosova. He

    charged that this failure constitutes a violation of their

    mandate, the Belgrade daily "Politika" reported. Stojiljkovic

    accused unnamed "outside factors" of using domestic "traitors

    and hooligan elements, in other words, allies of NATO" to

    undermine Serbia's economy, security, and political life. He

    warned that the security forces will not allow efforts to

    "destabilize" Serbia to continue. The minister did not

    elaborate. PM

    [15] YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES MOVE AGAINST PRIVATE RADIO

    Federal

    Telecommunications Ministry officials on 5 August informed

    the management of opposition leader Vuk Draskovic's Belgrade-

    based Studio B Television that Studio B faces legal action if

    it continues to allow the private radio station B2-92 to use

    one of its frequencies (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 August

    1999). The ministry officials stressed that only Studio B has

    the legal right to broadcast on that frequency. A spokesman

    for Studio B said that B2-92 will continue to use the

    frequency under a new name that will include the term "Studio

    B," VOA's Croatian Service reported. PM

    [16] YUGOSLAV ARMY DROPS CHARGES AGAINST DJINDJIC

    On 5 August,

    the Yugoslav army prosecutor's office dropped charges of

    draft-dodging against Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic

    (see "RFE/RL. Newsline," 29 July 1999). The opposition

    politician said that the decision shows that the army is not

    willing to let the Milosevic regime use it for political

    purposes. PM

    [17] AHTISAARI CALLS FOR KFOR TO TAKE CHARGE OF SECURITY

    Finnish

    President Martti Ahtisaari, who helped broker the Kosova

    peace settlement, said in Helsinki on 6 August that KFOR and

    not civilian police should assume responsibility for security

    in the province. He added: "I fear the role of the

    international police has not been fully thought out. They are

    perhaps needed when [local] police are retrained...and in

    monitoring the [local] police," Reuters reported. The

    president concluded: "That 3,000 or 3,100 police should keep

    order in the country is not of this world. [Keeping order]

    requires close cooperation between KFOR and the international

    police." Foreign governments have contributed fewer police

    than expected to the international police force. PM

    [18] SERBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST SAYS PARAMILITARIES WERE

    ATTACHED TO REGULAR UNITS...

    Natasa Kandic of the

    Humanitarian Law Fund (FHP) told Reuters in Belgrade on 5

    August that most of the killings in Kosova were carried out

    by paramilitary units "established by orders from a very high

    level" and attached to regular forces. "Their task was to

    expel people from villages, and to kill," she said, adding

    that they included Bulgarian and Russian mercenaries. Kandic

    called on Serbs to "start talking about responsibility, to

    support the UN war crimes tribunal, and the investigation and

    punishment not just of perpetrators, but also those

    responsible at a high level, starting with Milosevic." The

    FHP was the only Serbian NGO to investigate Serbian war

    crimes during the conflict, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service

    noted. FS

    [19] ...WARNS OF ALBANIAN 'CULTURE OF BLOOD FEUDS'

    Kandic on 5

    August also urged the Kosovar Albanians to "face up" to the

    wave of revenge killings of Serbs since June. She added that

    the revenge attacks are rooted in the Albanian "culture of

    blood feuds" and warned that if left unchecked they could

    "spiral out of control." Kandic stressed that "this is not

    revenge in the usual sense--'you robbed me, I'll rob you.'

    Nothing like this happened in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia.

    It is part of the Albanian mentality." She urged "new

    discussion" of the problems, adding that "otherwise it will

    go on till the last minority [in Kosova] is eliminated." FS

    [20] RUGOVA, THACI MEET WITH KOUCHNER

    Ibrahim Rugova, the

    leader of the moderate Democratic League of Kosova

    (LDK), met on 4 August with the Kosova Liberation Army's

    (UCK) Hashim Thaci in the residence of UN Special

    Representative Bernard Kouchner in Prishtina, an RFE/RL

    South Slavic Service correspondent reported. The three

    discussed the situation in Kosova and forms of possible

    cooperation between the rival Kosovar political groups

    and the UN civilian administration. Bilal Sherifi, who

    is the head of Thaci's UCK-backed provisional

    government, told RFE/RL on 5 August that "the two sides

    discussed the agreement signed [by the Kosovar Albanian

    delegates] in Rambouillet about the creation of the

    provisional government.... Both sides agreed to create a

    joint commission to administer financial resources that

    have been collected by the fund administered by [the

    LDK's shadow-state Prime Minister Bujar] Bukoshi." FS

    [21] LDK JOINS TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL

    LDK officials told an RFE/RL

    correspondent in Prishtina on 5 August that they have

    appointed their representatives to the UN's transitional

    council, following their meeting with Kouchner. Kosovar

    Albanians, Serbs, and small ethnic minorities are represented

    on the council, along with representatives of the

    international community. Rugova and LDK senior leader Fatmir

    Sejdiu will represent the LDK. Mark Krasniqi of the Christian

    Democratic Party of Kosova will also participate in the

    council. On 16 July, the first meeting of the transitional

    council took place, but Rugova refused to attend it, arguing

    that smaller shadow-state political parties must also be

    represented. FS

    [22] TAIWAN FREEZES KOSOVA AID AFTER CANCELING PREMIER'S VISIT

    A

    spokesman for Taiwanese Prime Minister Vincent Siew said in

    Taipei on 5 August that Taiwan will "re-evaluate" a planned

    $300 million donation to Kosova. The announcement came after

    NATO notified Siew the previous day that it "cannot guarantee

    his security" in the region during a planned visit, dpa

    reported. The spokesman stressed that the donation can be

    made only "after we have made contacts with and gained

    understanding of the region." Siew had planned to visit

    Kosova on 5 August after his visit to Macedonia, together

    with a 160-strong business delegation (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"

    5 August 1999). FS

    [23] MACEDONIA LIFTS FEE FOR RELIEF TRUCKS

    A UNHCR spokesman said

    in Geneva on 6 August that the Macedonian authorities have

    agreed to lift a $348 per-truck inspection fee for UNHCR

    relief vehicles bound for Kosova (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4

    August 1999). The spokesman added that "aid trucks will start

    rolling this morning." At least 90 aid trucks are waiting in

    Skopje alone. PM

    [24] ALBANIAN SPECIAL POLICE TAKE CONTROL OF DURRES PORT

    Prime

    Minister Pandeli Majko on 5 August ordered special police

    troops to take control of the main port of Durres to stem

    corruption and smuggling, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service

    reported. Majko stressed that local police have proven unable

    to deal with highly organized and well-armed criminals. FS

    [25] IMF APPROVES ROMANIAN STAND-BY LOAN

    The IMF executive board

    on 5 August approved the $547 million stand-by loan on which

    the Romanian government and the IMF had agreed in April. The

    loan will be disbursed over eight months and the first $73

    million tranche released immediately, Reuters reported. IMF

    First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer said that

    Romania must continue efforts to obtain credits from

    international private lenders. Fischer added that the full

    implementation of the government's program would "mark a

    major step forward in Romania's quest for financial stability

    and establish the basis for sustainable growth." Under the

    approved loan, Romania is aiming at an inflation rate of some

    40 percent, a decline in output of no more than 3.5 percent,

    and a consolidated deficit not exceeding 3.7 percent of GDP

    in 1999. MS

    [26] HUNGARIAN LEADER IN ROMANIA URGES CHURCH PROPERTY

    RESTITUTION

    Bela Marko, chairman of the Hungarian Democratic

    Federation of Romania (UDMR), sent a letter to President Emil

    Constantinescu, Prime Minister Radu Vasile, and Justice

    Minister Valeriu Stoica on 5 August urging the restitution of

    Church property confiscated by the Communists. Marko says the

    UDMR cannot comprehend why the restitution of such property

    is not included in a bill on the restitution of real estate

    currently being debated by the parliament, Mediafax reported.

    MS

    [27] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT'S CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE MEETS MORE

    CRITICISM

    Party of Democratic Forces leader Valeriu Matei

    told journalists in Chisinau on 5 August that the

    presidential drive to change the constitutional system is

    aimed at "setting up a dictatorship." He warned that if the

    drive is successful, President Petru Lucinschi will extend

    his mandate, following the examples of Belarus and

    Kazakhstan. Parliamentary chairman Dumitru Diacov said that

    the presidential commission draft on changing the

    constitution was "a surprise for the deputies," RFE/RL's

    Chisinau bureau reported. He argued that the draft is an

    "anti-democratic document" that violates the principle of the

    separation of powers. Meanwhile, 38 deputies on 5 August

    asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the

    constitutionality of a draft law initiated by them. The draft

    envisages curtailing presidential powers and introducing a

    full-fledged parliamentary system in Moldova. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [28] TRANSDNIESTRIAN LEADER WARNS AGAINST ATTEMPT TO EVACUATE


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


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