Browse through our Interesting Nodes on Academic Institutions in Greece A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
 
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. 13, 00-01-19

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. 13, 19 January 2000


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] AZERBAIJAN'S RULING PARTY CLAIMS HUGE INFLUX OF NEW MEMBERS
  • [02] AZERBAIJAN'S ISLAMIC PARTY WANTS CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES
  • [03] GEORGIA AGAIN DENIES HOSTING CHECHEN BASES
  • [04] GEORGIAN MILITARY PROSECUTOR AGAIN ALLEGES CORRUPTION WITHIN
  • [05] KAZAKHSTAN'S OIL PRODUCTION RISES IN 1999
  • [06] KYRGYZ LEADERSHIP SEEKING TO CO-OPT OPPOSITION PARTY?
  • [07] IVANOV POSITIVELY ASSESSES TAJIK PEACE PROCESS
  • [08] UZBEK PRESIDENT FIRES FERGHANA VALLEY GOVERNOR

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [09] SERBIAN OPPOSITION ASKS WEST TO HELP PEOPLE
  • [10] THREE BALKAN NEIGHBORS PLEDGE COOPERATION
  • [11] MILOSEVIC'S ALLIES BLAST BUDVA, OHRID MEETINGS
  • [12] MONTENEGRIN GOVERNMENT PLEASED WITH CURRENCY SYSTEM
  • [13] ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT ISSUES UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES
  • [14] CROATIA'S PAVLETIC HERALDS GOVERNMENT HOUSECLEANING...
  • [15] ...WHICH HAS ALREADY BEGUN
  • [16] MESIC SAYS NO CHANGE IN CONSTITUTION NEEDED...
  • [17] ...WHILE BUDISA STRESSES HIS RECORD
  • [18] COUNCIL OF EUROPE TELLS BOSNIANS TO WORK TOGETHER
  • [19] ROMANIA'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY LAUNCHES 'MANIFESTO FOR MOLDAVIA'
  • [20] HUNGARIAN PARTY IN ROMANIA TORN BY CONFLICT...
  • [21] ...AND DISPUTE OVER 'MULTICULTURAL UNIVERSITY' RE-EMERGES IN
  • [22] ROMANIA REASSURES MOLDOVA ON ELECTRICITY DELIVERIES
  • [23] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT MEETS ISRAELI PREMIER...
  • [24] ...AND PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY CHAIRMAN

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [25] PROFILE OF NEW UKRAINIAN PREMIER VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] AZERBAIJAN'S RULING PARTY CLAIMS HUGE INFLUX OF NEW MEMBERS

    Yeni Azerbaycan Deputy Executive Secretary Siyavush Novruzov

    told Turan on 18 January that almost 10,000 people have

    applied to join the party since the election last month of

    Ilham Aliev as one of its deputy chairmen (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 22 December 1999). Novruzov added that most of the

    prospective new members are young, and several collective

    requests for membership have been received, such as one from

    a group of 48 prominent sportsmen. Observers believe Ilham

    Aliev is being groomed to succeed his father Heidar as

    president of Azerbaijan. LF

    [02] AZERBAIJAN'S ISLAMIC PARTY WANTS CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES

    BANNED

    Islamic Party of Azerbaijan Supreme Council member

    Muzaffar Jebrailzade told participants at a roundtable

    discussion on 18 January that representatives of over 1,000

    missionary organizations operating in Azerbaijan have already

    converted 10,000 people to Christianity, Turan reported. He

    added that most of those missionaries operate under cover of

    humanitarian organizations. The roundtable participants

    addressed an appeal to President Aliev to ban Christian

    missionaries from proselytizing in Azerbaijan. The

    independent newspaper "Azadlyg" reported last month that the

    Justice Ministry recently ceded to pressure from the U.S. to

    register two such missionary organizations. LF

    [03] GEORGIA AGAIN DENIES HOSTING CHECHEN BASES

    Georgian State

    Security Ministry spokesman Gela Suladze told journalists in

    Tbilisi on 19 January that there is no truth to Russian media

    reports that there are 20 Chechen military bases located on

    Georgian territory, ITAR-TASS reported. In early January,

    Radio France Internationale aired a report by one of its

    correspondents who claimed to be speaking from such a Chechen

    base in Georgia. Meanwhile the Ministry for Foreign Relations

    of the unrecognized Republic of South Ossetia has denied that

    Russian arms are being transported to Chechnya via South

    Ossetia, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 19 January.

    Georgian National Television screened footage on 11 January

    showing a lorry allegedly used to transport weapons to

    Chechnya in the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 January 2000). LF

    [04] GEORGIAN MILITARY PROSECUTOR AGAIN ALLEGES CORRUPTION WITHIN

    DEFENSE MINISTRY

    Addressing a meeting at the Prosecutor-

    General's office on 18 January, Chief Military Prosecutor

    Badri Bitsadze again claimed that corruption within the

    Defense Ministry is widespread, and that senior ministry

    officials are squandering budget funds, Interfax and Caucasus

    Press reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 and 6 December

    1999). He estimated financial losses from such malpractice at

    $700,000. Bitsadze has himself been implicated in corruption

    by Revaz Adamia, chairman of the Georgian parliamentary

    Committee for Defense and Security, which last month began an

    independent investigation into the tensions between the

    Defense Ministry and the Military Prosecutor's office. LF

    [05] KAZAKHSTAN'S OIL PRODUCTION RISES IN 1999

    Kazakhstan

    extracted marginally under 26.6 million metric tons of oil in

    1999, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year,

    Interfax reported. Gas condensate production was 3.39 million

    metric tons, which is 60 percent more than in 1998. But the

    country's three oil refineries produced only 5.73 million

    tons of refined oil, 28 percent less than in 1998. Kazakhstan

    exported a record 25 million tons of crude in 1999, compared

    with 24.1 million in 1998. LF

    [06] KYRGYZ LEADERSHIP SEEKING TO CO-OPT OPPOSITION PARTY?

    An

    unnamed presidential administration official told RFE/RL's

    Bishkek bureau on 18 January that leaders of the El (Bei-

    Bechara) Party, the second largest in Kyrgyzstan, met with

    President Askar Akaev on 5 January, and that some of them may

    accept offers of senior government posts. He said that one El

    parliament deputy has already consented to become

    Kyrgyzstan's ambassador to India, while a second party leader

    accepted the invitation to serve as deputy minister of

    national security. El spokesmen have not yet commented on

    those claims. El (Bei-Bechara) has been barred from

    contesting the party lists seats in the new parliament (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 and 13 January 2000). LF

    [07] IVANOV POSITIVELY ASSESSES TAJIK PEACE PROCESS

    Russian

    Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on 18 January that the

    situation in Tajikistan is developing "in the right

    direction," although "painfully, with difficulty," Asia Plus

    Blitz reported. Ivanov was speaking after talks with UN

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative in

    Tajikistan, Ivo Petrov (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 January

    2000). In an interview published in "Kommersant" on 18

    January, Petrov too said the present situation in Tajikistan

    is far more stable than six or 12 months ago. But he added

    that a UN presence will be needed in Tajikistan even after

    the expiry in May 2000 of the UN observer force's mandate, as

    there are still numerous armed formations in Tajikistan that

    are subordinate neither to the government nor to the United

    Tajik Opposition. LF

    [08] UZBEK PRESIDENT FIRES FERGHANA VALLEY GOVERNOR

    Visiting the

    Ferghana region on 15 January to attend the first session of

    the newly elected regional council of people's deputies,

    Islam Karimov dismissed regional administrator Numonzhon

    Muminov and recommended that his deputy, Alisher Atabekov, be

    appointed in his place, Interfax reported on 18 January.

    Karimov expressed concern at the deteriorating economic

    situation in the densely-populated region, which some

    observers regard as a hot-bed of radical Islam. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [09] SERBIAN OPPOSITION ASKS WEST TO HELP PEOPLE

    Leaders of the

    Alliance for Change coalition, including Dragoslav Avramovic

    and Zoran Djindjic, began meeting with representatives of the

    U.S. and EU in the Montenegrin resort town of Budva on 19

    January, Montenegrin Television reported. Djindjic told

    Reuters the previous day that it is now clear to the

    opposition that the West will not ease key sanctions against

    Serbia so long as Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is in

    power. Therefore, in contrast to the opposition's previous

    meetings with Western leaders, the opposition will now

    concentrate its efforts on enlisting U.S. and EU backing for

    three key projects. The first is a six-month program to

    deliver heating oil to 23 Serbian towns at a cost of $14

    million. Next comes a plan to distribute humanitarian aid

    parcels to needy families, beginning in 13 municipalities.

    The third project involves paying $32 every three months to

    those pensioners whose monthly incomes are less than $26.

    Djindjic stressed that the negotiations are not easy because

    the opposition has little leverage. PM

    [10] THREE BALKAN NEIGHBORS PLEDGE COOPERATION

    The prime

    ministers of Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro met in Ohrid,

    Macedonia, on 18 January to discuss improving infrastructure

    and other links between their countries. Macedonia's Ljubco

    Georgievski told AP that whereas the countries are close to

    each other in terms of geography, "we are still far apart

    because of blockades and bad infrastructure." The three

    government heads singled out the "reconstruction and building

    of roads, railways, telecommunications, oil pipeline links,

    and power supply networks in the region" for attention.

    Albania's Ilir Meta and Montenegro's Filip Vujanovic said

    they hope to open border crossings, improve road and railway

    connections, and develop power supply links between Podgorica

    and Elbasan. Meta stressed that Milosevic "has no right to

    isolate the citizens of the two countries." Their foreign

    ministers will meet soon to discuss border crossings.

    Macedonia and Montenegro hope to develop road and rail links

    via Kosova. PM

    [11] MILOSEVIC'S ALLIES BLAST BUDVA, OHRID MEETINGS

    The steering

    committee of the Socialist People's Party in Montenegro

    condemned the Budva meeting as an attempt by Western powers

    to "destabilize Yugoslavia," "Danas" reported on 19 January.

    A spokeswoman for the party, which is led by Yugoslav Prime

    Minister Momir Bulatovic, said that the Montenegrin

    government will meet "the fate of all puppet regimes of

    foreign powers." She added that Vujanovic's presence in Ohrid

    was part of the alleged Western destabilization effort. PM

    [12] MONTENEGRIN GOVERNMENT PLEASED WITH CURRENCY SYSTEM

    Finance

    Minister Miroslav Ivanisevic said in Podgorica on 18 January

    that the introduction of the German mark as a parallel

    currency to the Yugoslav dinar has proven successful. The

    two-track system has provided stability and insulated

    Montenegro from attempts by Belgrade to use the dinar to

    influence Montenegrin policies, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service

    reported. PM

    [13] ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT ISSUES UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES

    The Ministry

    of Labor and Social Protection released figures on 18 January

    indicating that unemployment stands at 17 percent, dpa

    reported. The total in numbers is 240,000 people. Socialist-

    led government claims that it has created 60,000 new jobs

    since 1997. The opposition charges that some 30 percent of

    the population has no work. Observers suggest that the real

    figure may be impossible to determine. Many Albanians work in

    the gray economy and do not report their incomes to the

    authorities. PM

    [14] CROATIA'S PAVLETIC HERALDS GOVERNMENT HOUSECLEANING...

    Vlatko

    Pavletic, who is acting president, said in Zagreb on 18

    January that he expects that the official results will be

    announced soon for the repeat parliamentary vote recently

    held in 11 polling places. He then plans to ask Social

    Democratic leader Ivica Racan to form a government on 22 or

    24 January. Pavletic added that the accompanying dissolution

    of the present government will affect not only ministers but

    also their deputies and ministerial secretaries. This also

    applies to "all representatives of the previous government

    who were formally appointed by the president of the

    republic," RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. Pavletic

    nonetheless added that no new minister is legally obliged to

    replace his or her deputies. PM

    [15] ...WHICH HAS ALREADY BEGUN

    Four top officials of the

    outgoing administration of the Croatian Democratic Community

    (HDZ) resigned on 18 January, Pavletic added. They include:

    chief of the president's office Ivica Kostovic, the

    president's domestic advisor Ivic Pasalic, security advisor

    Markica Rebic, security services chief Ivan Jarnjak. All four

    were appointees of the late President Franjo Tudjman. The

    latest polls suggest that the HDZ's Mate Granic will finish a

    poor third in the 24 January presidential vote. PM

    [16] MESIC SAYS NO CHANGE IN CONSTITUTION NEEDED...

    The

    presidential contest now centers on front-runner Stipe Mesic,

    who represents the opposition coalition of four small

    parties, and Drazen Budisa, who is the candidate of the

    larger two-party opposition grouping. Mesic told Deutsche

    Welle on 18 January that he will treat Bosnia-Herzegovina as

    a "sovereign state" and end the HDZ's policy of regarding the

    ethnic Croats of that country as Croatia's "internal affair."

    He stressed that under his presidency Zagreb will seek

    friends "and no longer enemies at home and abroad." The

    dapper, long-time veteran of politics in the former

    Yugoslavia urged NATO and the EU to welcome Croatia and help

    speed its integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. Mesic

    added that the constitution is sufficiently democratic that

    it does not need to be changed but simply interpreted more

    liberally than it was during Tudjman's "centralist" rule. The

    president's powers should be "limited" to prevent abuse, but

    the chief executive should still play a key role in crisis

    situations, the front-runner concluded. PM

    [17] ...WHILE BUDISA STRESSES HIS RECORD

    Budisa told "Vecernji

    list" of 19 January that he stands on his record of well-

    known views and positions he has publicly defended for many

    years. He added that he does not place much confidence in the

    polls, since they have fluctuated wildly in recent weeks. He

    charged that Mesic is inconsistent and that he sometimes

    talks as though he were from a governing coalition and

    sometimes from the opposition (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17

    January 2000). Budisa also accused Mesic of "buying votes

    through cheap tricks with the Herzegovinians." (Mesic has

    stressed that he is the only candidate who has not campaigned

    in Herzegovina.) Finally, Budisa argued that it is important

    that the president remain commander-in-chief of the army. PM

    [18] COUNCIL OF EUROPE TELLS BOSNIANS TO WORK TOGETHER

    Irish

    Foreign Minister David Andrews, who holds the rotating chair

    of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, told

    Bosnian leaders in Sarajevo on 18 January that they must make

    more progress in developing joint institutions if they want

    to join the Strasbourg-based body. He and Secretary-General

    Walter Schwimmer added that they hope that Bosnia will make

    sufficient progress to join in the course of the year,

    Reuters reported. Human rights institutions, a local election

    law, refugee returns, and the functioning of the parliament

    and presidency were areas that the two men mentioned as

    needing improvement. PM

    [19] ROMANIA'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY LAUNCHES 'MANIFESTO FOR MOLDAVIA'

    Democratic Party leader Petre Roman and members of the

    party's leadership launched the party's "Manifesto for

    Moldavia" on 18 January while visiting Neamt and Iasi. The

    document is aimed at recruiting regional support for the

    elections scheduled later this year. It says that the party's

    policies for Moldavia are "stopping poverty, zero tolerance

    for corruption, and the development of a middle-class."

    Roman, who is foreign minister, said that Romanian foreign

    policy will not be affected by the fact that he will

    challenge incumbent Emil Constantinescu for the presidency

    later this year. The president has broad prerogatives in

    foreign-policy making. He said both will promote Romania's

    interests "in cooperation" and their electoral competition is

    proof of "the normalcy and stability of Romania's democratic

    institutions," RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. MS

    [20] HUNGARIAN PARTY IN ROMANIA TORN BY CONFLICT...

    Laszlo Toekes,

    honorary chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of

    Romania (UDMR), has refused to accept a distinction from UDMR

    chairman Bela Marko at festivities marking the 10th

    anniversary of the UDMR establishment, Hungarian radio

    reported on 17 January. Toekes said last November that under

    Marko's leadership the UDMR has been turned into "a

    communist-like totalitarian organization" dominated by

    "intolerance." The Hungarian-language daily "Nepujsag,"

    published in Targu Mures, cites Tokes as telling a

    congregation recently that "heroes are being decorated

    together with traitors." Former dissident Karoly Kiraly has

    refused to attend the ceremony, accusing the UDMR leadership

    of having dropped the demand of Romania's Hungarian minority

    for self-determination. Hungarian Deputy Premier Laszlo

    Kover, who attended the festivities, told the audience that

    "disputes must never deteriorate to the level of endangering

    UDMR's unity." MS

    [21] ...AND DISPUTE OVER 'MULTICULTURAL UNIVERSITY' RE-EMERGES IN

    ROMANIA

    Education Minister Andrei Marga on 17 January said

    that following consultations with OSCE High Commissioner on

    National Minorities Max van der Stoel, it has been agreed

    that the best solution for promoting a "multicultural

    university" in Romania is to "consolidate the existing

    structures of the Babes-Bolyai university" in Cluj, Mediafax

    reported. He said students should be able to take "full

    degrees" in either Romanian, Hungarian, or German languages

    at the university. Marga is the rector on leave of Babes-

    Bolyai. Marko said in reaction that the UDMR continues to

    demand the setting up of a Hungarian-language state

    university. He added that the UDMR supports the idea of full-

    fledged degrees in Hungarian at Babes-Bolyai, but that this

    requires replacing the present "language groups" with

    Hungarian-language faculties and departments. MS

    [22] ROMANIA REASSURES MOLDOVA ON ELECTRICITY DELIVERIES

    Deputy

    Prime Minister Mircea Ciumara said on 18 January that the

    Romanian government will not cut electricity deliveries to

    Moldova. Ciumara said the threats issued earlier that day by

    the state-owned CONEL utility company to do so by 19 February

    are "groundless." Ciumara said the possibility was not even

    discussed at the government's 18 February meeting. MS

    [23] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT MEETS ISRAELI PREMIER...

    Petar Stoyanov,

    on a four-day visit to Israel, on 18 January discussed with

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem ways of

    improving ties between their countries, AP reported. Barak

    invited Bulgarian Defense Minister Boiko Noev to visit Israel

    to discuss military cooperation and the possible purchase of

    Israeli military equipment. Earlier in the day, Stoyanov

    visited the Yad Va'Shem Holocaust Memorial to "pay deep

    respect to million of Jews, including those deported from

    [Bulgaria-occupied] Aegean Thrace and Macedonia, who perished

    in Nazi ghettos and death camps," BTA reported. Former

    Knesset speaker Shevah Weiss thanked Stoyanov for the saving

    of Jews in Bulgaria proper during the Holocaust. Stoyanov

    also dedicated a Bulgaria Square in Jerusalem, named so in

    gratitude for Bulgaria's protection of 50,000 Jews during the

    Holocaust. MS

    [24] ...AND PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY CHAIRMAN

    Also on 18 January,

    Stoyanov met in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority Chairman

    Yasser Arafat, BTA reported. He said he is convinced that

    once the peace process is completed, the region will become

    attractive to investors and that Bulgaria can contribute to

    the reconstruction of the Palestinian territories. Arafat

    thanked Stoyanov for Bulgaria's "long-standing support for

    the Palestinian cause and of the Palestinian people." MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [25] PROFILE OF NEW UKRAINIAN PREMIER VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO

    By Askold Krushelnycky

    Installed as prime minister just before the new year,

    Viktor Yushchenko is being hailed as a new type of leader for

    Ukraine. At age 45, he is younger than most of the country's

    politicians, and he enjoys a rare reputation for honesty and

    intelligence. His marriage to an American adds to his pro-

    Western image.

    From 1993 till last month, Yushchenko was the chairman

    of the National Bank of Ukraine. In that role, he impressed

    foreign financial institutions such as the World Bank and the

    IMF with his skill and integrity. Major achievements during

    his term include curbing Ukraine's runaway inflation and

    keeping the new currency, the hryvna, stable.

    His early remarks as prime minister indicate that

    Yushchenko wants to steer clear of the corruption and

    cronyism that have characterized Ukrainian politics since

    independence. Most Ukrainians believe that their political

    leaders are merely intent on lining their own pockets.

    Yushchenko told RFE/RL's Ukraine Service earlier this

    month that he wants to bring in younger people whose outlook

    has not been shaped by the Communist system.

    "In the first place, these people should be dedicated to

    Ukraine's interests in every sphere. This pan-Ukrainianism

    should become the bedrock upon which we build our nationhood.

    And it goes without saying that these should be people with

    clean hands and they must have strong personalities."

    Yushchenko was born in the town of Khoruzhivka in Sumy

    Oblast, which borders Russia. His first financial job was as

    assistant to the chief accountant at a collective farm in

    Western Ukraine. After serving his time in the Soviet Army he

    began work in the USSR State Bank and rose rapidly within its

    ranks. When Ukraine declared independence in 1991, Yushchenko

    was the deputy director of the commercial agro-industrial

    bank Ukrainia.

    Yushchenko's public behavior makes him a rarity in

    Ukraine. Unlike most high officials, he has not sought to

    exploit his position for personal gain. Instead, he comes

    across as a self-effacing person who values his privacy.

    Those who know him personally describe him as pleasant

    and sensitive. Bank employees used to affectionately refer to

    him as "batko" or father. He likes art and, while chairman of

    the National Bank, sponsored many art exhibitions to promote

    young artists.

    Friends say Yushchenko is committed to economic and

    democratic reforms. They say he is deeply patriotic and wants

    to solidify Ukraine's independence and give Ukrainians

    reasons to be proud of their country.

    Others point to his courage: During the presidential

    campaign, Yushchenko threw his support behind one of the few

    genuinely democratic and reformist candidates, Yuri Kostenko,

    rather than taking the politically expedient path of

    supporting the successful incumbent, Leonid Kuchma.

    The primary task for the new prime minister is to lead

    Ukraine out of its economic morass. Living standards have

    plunged since independence, and industrial and agricultural

    outputs plumb new depths with each successive year.

    The former central banker holds out a vision of a new,

    fiscally responsible Ukraine. He told RFE/RL that Ukraine's

    economic situation is dismal, with successive governments

    borrowing massively without making plans about repayment.

    "The last two years have been the most difficult that I

    remember not only in Ukraine's recent history but ever in the

    field of national finances. It's a logical outcome because

    for the last nine years, as far as economic matters go, we

    have been living amorally. We did not adopt a conscientious

    political stance, there was no political solidarity and in

    the absence of those things an atmosphere of political

    irresponsibility developed."

    Yushchenko hopes that he will be able to win over a

    large enough proportion of the parliament to back his and

    President Leonid Kuchma's wide-ranging reform plans. These

    plans include abolishing collective farms, massive

    privatization and a radical reorganization of central and

    local administrations. The present parliament--and its

    predecessor--failed to make much progress on widespread

    economic or political reform because the Communists, who

    constitute the largest single party in the parliament, have

    been able to block legislation in concert with their leftist

    allies.

    Ivan Lozowy is the director of the Institute for

    Statehood and Democracy, a Ukrainian think-tank. He says

    Yushchenko is the best choice for prime minister that

    independent Ukraine has had.

    "I think this is a very unexpected but very pleasant

    boon to Ukraine to receive such a prime minister as Viktor

    Yushchenko. This is a respected banker and a person who has

    demonstrated that he is of a clear reformist orientation. And

    in the conditions that exist in Ukraine in the political

    sphere, he is a very welcome addition to the political

    establishment and it certainly opens the door to the hope

    that things can change for the better finally."

    Some observers in Ukraine believe that President

    Kuchma's appointment of Yushchenko was simply a cynical move

    to exploit Yushchenko's good relationship with the IMF and

    Western politicians. They suggest that with such a respected

    prime minister, Kuchma could secure better terms for

    repayment when Ukraine's huge debts--around $3 billion--

    become due this spring. After that, cynics say, Yushchenko

    will be fired.

    Lozowy says that could be part of Kuchma's calculation--

    but that if Yushchenko does manage to improve the economic

    situation it will be difficult to remove him.

    "Certainly the administrative changes that have begun

    finally at the initiative of President Leonid Kuchma and now

    being picked up by Viktor Yushchenko leads me to believe that

    systemic change has already begun. Again I stress that in the

    short term, it's difficult to see real changes taking place

    but in the long term, we know for a fact, and that's the

    essence of real reform, that they will have a positive

    impact."

    Askold Krushelnycky is an RFE/RL correspondent based in

    Prague.

    19-01-00


    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, 19 January 2000 - 16:16:52 UTC