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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 3, No. 165, 99-08-25

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. 165, 25 August 1999


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] ARMENIAN, KARABAKH PRESIDENTS MEET
  • [02] AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS GEORGIA...
  • [03] ...DISCUSSES GUUAM
  • [04] AZERBAIJAN'S CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION REJECTS CHARGES
  • [05] ABKHAZIA PUTS GEORGIAN FISHING CREW ON TRIAL
  • [06] FIRING OF TOP KAZAKH OIL OFFICIAL CLARIFIED
  • [07] KYRGYZ TROOPS FAIL TO RELEASE HOSTAGES...
  • [08] ...AS ABDUCTORS' IDENTITY REMAINS UNKNOWN
  • [09] POET SUGGESTS TURKMEN PRESIDENT SHOULD RETAIN POST FOR

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [10] RAHOVEC BLOCKADE CONTINUES
  • [11] IS UCK HEADING FOR AN OPEN CONFRONTATION WITH KFOR?
  • [12] KOSOVA TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL DISCUSSES CANTONIZATION...
  • [13] ...BUT VEDRINE OBJECTS
  • [14] BELGRADE WANTS END TO UN CUSTOMS SERVICE...
  • [15] ...AND NATO PRESENCE
  • [16] SERBS CONTINUE TO LEAVE KOSOVA
  • [17] SERBIAN GENERALS WARN OPPOSITION
  • [18] U.S. ENVOY MEETS SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS
  • [19] SERBIAN UNIONS GIVE MILOSEVIC ULTIMATUM
  • [20] MONTENEGRIN LEADERS IMPATIENT WITH SERBIAN OPPOSITION
  • [21] VOJVODINA DAILY ON STRIKE
  • [22] AUSTRIA ARRESTS SERBIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECT
  • [23] GREEK PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES TO LEGALIZE ALBANIAN
  • [24] ...WANTS YUGOSLAVIA INTEGRATED INTO EUROPE
  • [25] ROMANIAN DEPUTY APOLOGIZES FOR ANTI-SEMITIC REMARK
  • [26] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION WALKS OUT OF PARLIAMENT
  • [27] BULGARIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS OPPOSITION APPEAL

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [28] GERMANY WARNS AGAINST RUSSIAN SPYING

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] ARMENIAN, KARABAKH PRESIDENTS MEET

    Robert Kocharian met

    with Arkadii Ghukasian, president of the unrecognized

    Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, in Yerevan on 24 August and

    briefed him on his 22 August meeting in Geneva with his

    Azerbaijani counterpart, Heidar Aliev, RFE/RL's Yerevan

    bureau reported. Kocharian and Ghukasian focused on

    "measures aimed at strengthening the cease-fire along

    Karabakh-Azerbaijani section" of the line of contact, the

    Armenian presidential press service said. They also

    stressed the "need to resume peace negotiations within the

    framework of the OSCE's Minsk Group and Karabakh's full

    participation in that process," according to the press

    service. LF

    [02] AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS GEORGIA...

    Visiting

    Tbilisi on 23-24 August, Tofik Zulfugarov held talks with

    his Georgian counterpart, Irakli Menagharishvili,

    parliamentary speaker Zurab Zhvania, Minister of State

    Vazha Lortkipanidze, and Georgian President Eduard

    Shevardnadze, all of whom underscored the broad convergence

    of geopolitical and economic interests between the two

    countries, Caucasus Press and Turan reported.

    Menagharishvili noted that friendship and cooperation

    between the two countries contribute to regional stability

    and security. In a joint statement, the two ministers

    pledged their governments' mutual support for their

    integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

    Zulfugarov noted Georgia's interest in the planned Baku-

    Ceyhan and Trans-Caspian pipeline projects. He also told

    journalists that he does not exclude the possibility of

    Azerbaijani peacekeeping troops being deployed in Abkhazia.

    Some Georgian politicians are lobbying energetically for

    the withdrawal of the present Russian peacekeeping force

    deployed under the aegis of the CIS. LF

    [03] ...DISCUSSES GUUAM

    Zulfugarov told journalists on 23

    August that the legal basis for the GUUAM grouping

    (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) is

    almost complete, according to Caucasus Press. He said that

    more active military cooperation between GUUAM's members

    cannot be excluded, adding that such cooperation "should

    cause no anxiety to Russia, as it will be purely defensive

    in character." Meeting with Zulfugarov the following day,

    Minister of State Lortkipanidze called for intensifying

    economic, political, and military-strategic cooperation

    among GUUAM members, saying there should be no "serious

    limitations" on the group's development. Shevardnadze

    likewise noted the need to activate cooperation within the

    parameters of GUUAM. Speaking to journalists in Kyiv on 18

    August following talks with his Moldovan counterpart. Petru

    Lucinschi, Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma said there is

    "no need" to discuss turning GUUAM into either a political

    or military alliance. LF

    [04] AZERBAIJAN'S CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION REJECTS CHARGES

    AGAINST ITS HEAD

    The Central Electoral Commission issued a

    statement on 24 August dismissing three opposition party

    leaders' allegations against long-time commission chairman

    Djafar Aliev as slander, Turan reported. Etibar Mamedov,

    Nizami Suleimanov and Ashraf Mehtiev, all of whom

    unsuccessfully contended the October 1998 presidential

    election, claimed that Veliev said in an interview with the

    independent ANS TV station that 12-15 percent of the

    ballots cast in that poll were falsified. They demanded the

    opening of criminal proceedings against Veliev. The 24

    August statement denied that Veliev had given an interview

    to ANS or made any such a comment on the elections. All

    three defeated candidates dispute the official outcome of

    the poll, in which Aliev was reelected for a second term

    with 76 percent (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 October 1998).

    LF

    [05] ABKHAZIA PUTS GEORGIAN FISHING CREW ON TRIAL

    The trial has

    begun at Abkhazia's Supreme Court of nine crew members of a

    Georgian fishing vessel intercepted in April in what

    Abkhazia claims are its territorial waters, Caucasus Press

    reported on 25 April. The Abkhaz authorities offered to

    release the men in exchange for the release of four Abkhaz

    held hostage in western Georgia by Georgian guerrillas, but

    the guerrillas rejected that proposal (see RFE/RL

    Newsline," 14 April and 28 June 1999). LF

    [06] FIRING OF TOP KAZAKH OIL OFFICIAL CLARIFIED

    Nurlan

    Qapparov was fired as president of the state KazakhOil

    company because he opposed the proposed sale of part of

    Kazakhstan's 25 percent stake in the Tengizchevroil joint

    venture, Interfax reported on 24 August quoting an unnamed

    KazakhOil official (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 August 1999).

    Qapparov reportedly objected that the sale would weaken

    Kazakh positions on the domestic oil extraction market. The

    KazakhOil source said that Qapparov also objects to a

    second deal whereby the Canadian firm Hurricane

    Hydrocarbons will transfer 49 percent of its shares in its

    daughter company Hurricane Kumkol Munai to the oil refinery

    Shymkentnefteorgsintez in return for a stake in that

    facility. Qapparov reportedly argued that such deals give

    rise to monopolies in the oil industry. LF

    [07] KYRGYZ TROOPS FAIL TO RELEASE HOSTAGES...

    Kyrgyz army

    troops exchanged fire on 24 August with the militants

    holding a police general and four Japanese geologists

    hostage in southern Kyrgyzstan's Batken Raion, killing 10

    of the guerrillas. Those troops failed, however, to release

    the hostages. Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev assured Japanese

    Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi by telephone on 24 August that

    everything will be done to secure the hostages are released

    unharmed. Akaev told journalists in Bishkek on 25 August

    that the guerrillas have received reinforcements from

    neighboring Tajikistan, Reuters reported. He estimated

    their strength at 350-400. LF

    [08] ...AS ABDUCTORS' IDENTITY REMAINS UNKNOWN

    On 24 August,

    Tajik presidential press spokesman Zafar Saidov again

    denied any connection between the hostage-takers in

    southern Kyrgyzstan and the United Tajik Opposition,

    claiming that the guerrillas are part of ethnic Uzbek field

    commander Djuma Namangani's private army, which UTO

    formations helped to drive out of Tajikistan, according to

    Interfax. Saidov added that the guerrillas belong to the

    so-called Movement for the Islamic Resurrection of

    Uzbekistan. But a senior Kyrgyz trade official told

    Interfax on 24 August that the kidnappers have links with

    the Islamic Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Liberation Party) group

    headquartered in Pakistan. He said that organization

    recently intensified its operations in Uzbekistan with the

    aim of creating an Islamic state in the Fergana valley. LF

    [09] POET SUGGESTS TURKMEN PRESIDENT SHOULD RETAIN POST FOR

    LIFE

    In an article published recently in "Neitralnyi

    Turkmenistan," Durdymuhammet Kurbanov, a former press

    spokesman to Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov,

    proposed that the country's constitution be amended at the

    next parliamentary session, which will take place in

    December, to allow Niyazov to occupy that post for life,

    Reuters and Interfax reported on 24 August. At present, one

    individual may serve only two consecutive presidential

    terms. Niyazov was elected president in 1992 for a five-

    year term, which was prolonged in a referendum two years

    later. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [10] RAHOVEC BLOCKADE CONTINUES

    Several thousand ethnic

    Albanians continued to block roads leading to Rahovec on 25

    August, AP reported. The previous day, negotiations between

    Dutch, German, and Russian KFOR officials and

    representatives of the Albanians had yielded no results.

    Protest leader Agim Hasku said the protests will continue

    until KFOR gives up plans to deploy Russian troops there.

    He added: "We told [KFOR] that the Russians will only

    destabilize the situation." Hasku accused Russian

    mercenaries of committing atrocities in the region during

    the recent conflict. He stressed that "the Russians can be

    sent where there were no massacres committed by Russians.

    Why station them here, where so many crimes were committed

    by Russians?" In the Serbian quarter of the city, several

    hundred Serbs rallied in support of the Russians. FS

    [11] IS UCK HEADING FOR AN OPEN CONFRONTATION WITH KFOR?

    The

    "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" on 25 August reported that

    the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) issued orders in Rahovec

    two days earlier that all shops, restaurants, and cafes

    must close and that only food stores can remain open. The

    daily noted that the UCK thus "artificially increased the

    pressure in Rahovec and mobilized the inhabitants [to take

    part in] the road blocks." He added that "on one hand, the

    Russian troops can hardly fight their way through. On the

    other hand, KFOR cannot allow the UCK to tell them what to

    do. The issue in Rahovec is who will have the final say."

    FS

    [12] KOSOVA TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL DISCUSSES CANTONIZATION...

    UN Special Representative Bernard Kouchner put a plan

    for "cantonization" high on the agenda of the third

    meeting of the Kosovar transitional council on 25

    August, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported.

    Kosovar Serbian leader Momcilo Trajkovic recently

    unveiled the plan (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 August

    1999). Trajkovic told RFE/RL's South Slavic Service on

    24 August that the plan calls for setting up five

    large multi-ethnic cantons, in each of which

    "decisions will be made by consensus." He added that

    "we have asked for extra-territorial status for

    monasteries, so that they can belong to Serbia or

    Serbian cantons..... The [demographic] basis of

    cantonization will be the situation [that existed]

    before the NATO bombing." And he stressed that

    "cantonization is a means and not our goal. It is a

    means to create a multi-ethnic [Kosova]." FS

    [13] ...BUT VEDRINE OBJECTS

    French Foreign Minister Hubert

    Vedrine said in Prishtina on 24 August that the

    cantonization of Kosova is not provided for by UN Security

    Council Resolution 1244, Reuters reported. He stressed that

    "it is not an advisable way of organizing things. But

    saying this does not prevent us from dealing with the

    underlying issue, which is security.... If this idea is

    once again in the forefront, it is precisely because the

    safety of Serbs, who...are scattered, has not been

    guaranteed." Vedrine was visiting Kosova with his German

    counterpart, Joschka Fischer. Fischer told RFE/RL's South

    Slavic Service that "after all the horrible events, after

    all the years of repression and apartheid policy by

    Belgrade toward the Kosovar Albanian population, we cannot

    expect the implementation of the peace process and the

    transition from violence to democracy to be without

    difficulties." FS

    [14] BELGRADE WANTS END TO UN CUSTOMS SERVICE...

    Vladislav

    Jovanovic, who is Yugoslavia's chief envoy to the UN, sent

    a letter to the world organization on 24 August to demand

    an end to the UN's customs service. He stressed that the

    existence of the service violates Yugoslav sovereignty and

    Belgrade's June agreement with NATO. He noted that customs

    agents collect duties on goods coming from Serbia into

    Kosova, which Belgrade points out is still legally part of

    Yugoslavia. In early August, UNMIK installed customs

    controls on Kosova's borders with Macedonia and Albania to

    collect urgently needed revenues and stop the influx of

    uncontrolled and untaxed imports. Serbian authorities have

    repeatedly called for Serbian customs agents to return to

    the province (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 July 1999). PM

    [15] ...AND NATO PRESENCE

    General Nebojsa Pavkovic, who

    commands southern Serbia's Third Army, said that "our

    country has the right to demand that the international

    forces leave [Kosova] and let us make order the way it

    should be. I am convinced it will happen soon," AP reported

    from Belgrade on 25 August. He predicted that clashes

    between NATO and UCK forces will become more frequent in

    the near future. PM

    [16] SERBS CONTINUE TO LEAVE KOSOVA

    The UNHCR's spokesman Chris

    Janowski said in Geneva on 24 August that only 30,000 Serbs

    remain in Kosova. He added that each exodus of Serbian

    civilians triggers the next one. PM

    [17] SERBIAN GENERALS WARN OPPOSITION

    Several generals

    published a letter in the mass-circulation Belgrade daily

    "Blic" on 24 August saying that the army will quash any

    politically inspired violence. The military leaders added

    that any political change must come through "democratic

    means" and not through street protests. The generals

    criticized retired General Momcilo Perisic, who is their

    former chief but now leads an opposition party. They

    accused him of "receiving instructions" from NATO during

    the Atlantic alliance's recent bombing campaign. PM

    [18] U.S. ENVOY MEETS SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS

    James Dobbins,

    who recently replaced Robert Gelbard as U.S. special envoy

    for the former Yugoslavia, met in the Montenegrin resort of

    Budva on 24 August with several Serbian opposition leaders.

    They included Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic, the

    Social Democrats' Vuk Obradovic, and the Alliance for

    Change's Vladan Batic. It is unclear who also attended. The

    Serbian Renewal Movement's Vuk Draskovic was not invited,

    RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. Batic later told

    the private BETA news agency that Washington wants the

    fractious opposition to overcome its differences. At the

    same time, the U.S. seeks to identify and promote any rifts

    within government ranks, he said. Batic added that the

    opposition leaders agreed to meet again with Dobbins but

    did not set a date. PM

    [19] SERBIAN UNIONS GIVE MILOSEVIC ULTIMATUM

    The Association of

    Free and Independent Labor Unions issued a declaration in

    Belgrade on 24 August calling on Milosevic to resign by 10

    September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 July 1999). If he does

    not meet that deadline, the unions will decide on launching

    a general strike, which in Serbia means short protests

    rather than a complete stoppage, Reuters reported. The

    independent unions are deeply divided, just like the

    political opposition. State-run unions have a much larger

    membership. PM

    [20] MONTENEGRIN LEADERS IMPATIENT WITH SERBIAN OPPOSITION

    Justice Minister Dragan Soc said in Podgorica on 24 August

    that Milosevic is not strong enough to defeat the

    opposition. Soc fears, however, that the opposition will

    lose its battle "because of its own incompetence," AP

    reported. He added that he believes that "widespread

    poverty and public pressure" will force Draskovic and

    Djindjic to sink their differences and form an alliance to

    oust Milosevic. Draskovic has rejected any such alliance

    (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 23 August 1999). PM

    [21] VOJVODINA DAILY ON STRIKE

    The staff of the Hungarian-

    language Novi Sad daily "Magyar Szo" began a strike for

    back pay on 24 August. The workers also demand that the

    staff have greater control over the paper's finances,

    RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

    [22] AUSTRIA ARRESTS SERBIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECT

    War crimes

    chief prosecutor Louise Arbour said in The Hague on 25

    August that Austrian authorities have arrested Bosnian Serb

    General Momir Talic. She said Talic, whom the court

    indicted secretly, is wanted for crimes committed against

    Muslims and Croats in the Prijedor area during the 1992-

    1995 conflict. PM

    [23] GREEK PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES TO LEGALIZE ALBANIAN

    IMMIGRANTS...

    Kostas Simitis said in Tirana on 24 August

    that "we are moving towards the legalization of those

    immigrants who already have a job or are in the process of

    getting one. In future, [proof of employment in Greece]

    should be a precondition for those who come," Reuters

    reported. Simitis signed two cooperation agreements with

    Albania's Prime Minister Pandeli Majko. Under the terms of

    one of those agreements, Greece will donate $1.5 million

    for infrastructure projects in southern Albania, $500,000

    of which will be used in border areas where the Greek

    minority lives. Greece and Albania also agreed to jointly

    patrol the Corfu Straits. FS

    [24] ...WANTS YUGOSLAVIA INTEGRATED INTO EUROPE

    Simitis also

    said that "it is time for all Balkan countries to be

    integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures.... I mean all

    countries, without exceptions, regardless of who's the head

    of that country," AP reported. Simitis added that Balkan

    borders should not be changed. Majko, however, said that

    "according to the Albanian government, the essence of the

    [regional] stability pact is the respect for the new Balkan

    realities, created after the conflict in Kosova." Majko

    also said that "in today's Serbia, the main problem is not

    Milosevic, because it is clear to everybody who Milosevic

    is. The main problem in Serbia today is the opposition,

    which does not present a clear and democratic alternative."

    FS

    [25] ROMANIAN DEPUTY APOLOGIZES FOR ANTI-SEMITIC REMARK

    In a

    letter addressed to Petre Roman, Party of Social Democracy

    in Romania (PDSR) deputy Miron Mitrea apologized for his

    anti-Semitic remark directed at the Senate chairman,

    Romanian media reported on 24 August. Mitrea said the

    remark had been "cited out of context." Adrian Nastase,

    PDSR first deputy chairman, said on 24 August that Mitrea

    was misquoted, but he added that if he made the remarks, he

    "will be sanctioned." The daily "Cronica romana" quoted

    deputy Dorel Dorian, who represents the Federation of

    Jewish Communities in the parliament, as saying that Roman,

    whose mother was a Gentile, is not a Jew. "If he wanted to

    convert, he would be turned down," he commented, adding

    that Roman has "a greater chance of become Romania's

    patriarch than its chief rabbi" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 23

    August 1999). MS

    [26] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION WALKS OUT OF PARLIAMENT

    Deputies

    representing the PDSR, the Greater Romania Party, and the

    Party of Romanian National Unity walked out of the Chamber

    of Deputies on 24 August to protest the chamber's decision

    not to debate their amendments to the restitution laws

    currently under debate, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported.

    Nastase told journalists that the parliamentary majority

    wants to " restore pre-WWII conditions, when 5 percent of

    the population owned 95 percent of the national wealth."

    The Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania said it will

    support the government-proposed restitution laws only if

    that legislation extends restitution to properties

    confiscated by the Communists from the Churches. MS

    [27] BULGARIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS OPPOSITION APPEAL

    The Constitutional Court on 24 August rejected the

    opposition Socialist Party's appeal against the recently

    amended law on local elections, which the parliament has

    passed, BTA reported. The Socialists challenged the

    provision obliging candidates to state whether they were

    informers or on the payroll of the communist secret police,

    arguing that the requirement limits constitutional rights.

    The court ruled that the provision does not disqualify

    candidates from running but has "a moral character." The

    Socialist also appealed the provision abolishing the

    election of councilors in settlements with a population of

    fewer than 500. The court ruled that it is the parliament's

    prerogative to decide on such administrative matters. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [28] GERMANY WARNS AGAINST RUSSIAN SPYING

    By Roland Eggleston

    Germany's intelligence service has warned that as many

    as 200 Russian agents may be actively collecting military

    and economic secrets in the country.

    The warning came from Germany's counter-espionage

    organization, the Office for the Protection of the

    Constitution. A spokesman recalled that since 1995 it has

    regularly warned German industry and business that Russia

    is as interested in collecting commercial information as it

    is in learning German and NATO military secrets. In 1996,

    the counter-intelligence organization published a pamphlet

    warning industry against Russian espionage.

    A spokesman who spoke with RFE/RL on the condition of

    anonymity said the organization's warnings have "often not

    been taken seriously enough." He added that "the evidence

    indicates that too often information about new technology

    and other secrets is not sufficiently protected against

    espionage from within the company."

    The government's security adviser, Ernst Uhrlau, said

    a few days ago that an "energetic protest" was made in

    Moscow against Russia's continuing espionage activities,

    despite Germany's massive financial assistance to the

    Russian economy. But commentators noted that Uhrlau's

    predecessors, and even former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, made

    similar protests without any apparent effect. Kohl raised

    the issue at a November 1997 meeting in Moscow with Russian

    President Boris Yeltsin.

    Uhrlau said it is unlikely that Germany will impose

    economic sanctions on Russia, as has been demanded by the

    chairman of the parliamentary internal affairs committee,

    Wilfried Penner. But Penner has said he may ask questions

    about the damage caused by Russian espionage in an open

    session of the parliament.

    The latest warning about Russian espionage in Germany

    follows the arrest of two men alleged to have passed to

    Russia secret military information.

    One of them, Peter Sommer, is a 52-year-old engineer

    at Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace (DASA), which has research

    contracts for various military projects. He is said to have

    been active since 1997 and is suspected of having stolen

    studies about the latest developments in military

    helicopters and anti-tank weapons and possibly information

    about the weaponry carried by the new fighter aircraft, the

    Eurofighter.

    The other man accused is a 39-year-old landowner in

    Lower Saxony, Michael Koch. The authorities believe it was

    he who persuaded Sommer to obtain the information. Koch is

    the son of an arms dealer who was formally accused in 1979

    of trying to recruit former German officers for the Libyan

    army of Muammar Gaddafi.

    The Federal Prosecutors Office has declined to give

    details of the case while investigations continue. But

    lawyers for the two say Koch is suspected of having tried

    to recruit several people to obtain sensitive information.

    When Koch was arrested in Hannover on July 28 he was

    allegedly about to leave for Moscow with a briefcase full

    of secret documents. The head of the provincial security

    organization in Lower Saxony, Rolf-Peter Minnier, told

    journalists that with Koch's arrest "we caught a really big

    fish."

    Koch appeared in the Federal court in Karlsruhe last

    week but refused to make a statement. He and Sommer are

    detained in separate prisons. Officials say they are

    unlikely to go on trial until next year.

    The counter-espionage organization says it is also

    worried about economic espionage. Its spokesman said Russia

    appears to be interested in new technology in industry, in

    computer technology, micro-electronics, and in gene

    technology. "Apparently, the goal is to improve Russia's

    economy by obtaining information about Western advances in

    the industrial, scientific, and electronic fields," he

    added.

    Russia makes no secret of its activities. A Russian

    Federation law obliges the foreign intelligence service to

    "support the economic development and scientific progress

    of the country." German newspapers frequently report that

    President Yeltsin endorsed economic espionage for the good

    of the country in a speech to Russia's Security Council in

    February 1996. But German officials concede that in many

    cases, Russia now obtains its economic information through

    joint ventures with German companies.

    By the same token, the German counter-intelligence

    agency says other countries are also active in trying to

    obtain information in Germany about Western technology.

    Among them are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and China.

    Moreover, accusations have also been made against the

    U.S., which maintains a Cold War electronic listening

    station at Bad Aibling, near Munich, and in some other

    parts of the country. Some German politicians charge that

    the U.S. monitors phone conversations and other

    communications inside German industry. The chairman of the

    parliament's Internal Affairs Committee, Wilfried Penner,

    renewed those charges last week.

    The author is an RFE/RL correspondent based in Munich,

    Germany.

    25-08-99


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


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