Check-out What's New 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
Thursday, 14 November 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 68, 00-04-05

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. 4, No. 68, 5 April 2000


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] KARABAKH PROSECUTOR SAYS FORMER MINISTER
  • [02] FORMER ARMENIAN RULING PARTY CONDEMNS
  • [03] FORMER GEORGIAN NAVAL COMMANDER
  • [04] KAZAKHSTAN'S PREMIER ANTICIPATES RISE IN GDP
  • [05] COMPROMISED KAZAKH SECURITY OFFICIAL MOVES
  • [06] POLICE DISPERSE KYRGYZ PROTESTERS
  • [07] BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT VISITS TAJIKISTAN

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [08] SERBIAN OFFICERS REVEAL 'SICKENING ATROCITIES'
  • [09] YUGOSLAV ARMY REJECTS SPECIAL LINKS TO
  • [10] ROBERTSON SAYS KOSOVA MISSION ON 'RAZOR'S
  • [11] KOSOVA VILLAGES QUIET AFTER CLASH
  • [12] CROATIAN POLICE ARREST ALLEGED SERBIAN WAR
  • [13] DEL PONTE SEEKS EVIDENCE IN CROATIA
  • [14] IS PLAVSIC ON HAGUE'S ARREST LIST?
  • [15] PETRITSCH CALLS FOR 'CHANGE' IN BOSNIAN VOTE
  • [16] SERBIA BANS CORRESPONDENT
  • [17] LARGEST MACEDONIAN BANK SOLD
  • [18] ALBANIAN FORMALLY ENDS DEATH PENALTY
  • [19] ITALY, ALBANIA AGREE ON MIGRANT LABOR
  • [20] SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER IN ROMANIA
  • [21] MULTICULTURAL UNIVERSITY IN ROMANIA GIVEN
  • [22] ROMANIAN COURT APPROVES ROYAL RESTITUTION
  • [23] MOLDOVAN OFFICIAL SAYS RUSSIA TO SUBMIT
  • [24] BULGARIA AGAIN REJECTS UN REPORT
  • [25] BULGARIAN LEFTIST PARTIES TO COOPERATE

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [26] TURN OF THE SCREWS

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] KARABAKH PROSECUTOR SAYS FORMER MINISTER

    PLANNED ATTACK ON PRESIDENT

    Mavrik Ghukasian,

    prosecutor-general of the unrecognized Nagorno-

    Karabakh Republic, told a news conference in Stepanakert

    on 4 April that the enclave's former defense minister,

    Samvel Babayan, has been formally charged with

    masterminding the 22 March assassination attempt on

    President Arkadii Ghukasian, RFE/RL's Stepanakert

    correspondent reported. Mavrik Ghukasian said that the

    charges were read to Babayan in the presence of his lawyer

    after the former minister had admitted his guilt. He added

    that there is "sufficient evidence" that Babayan planned to

    install an interim military government after the

    president's demise and then assume the leadership. LF

    [02] FORMER ARMENIAN RULING PARTY CONDEMNS

    'PERSECUTION' OF EX-MINISTER

    The Armenian Pan-

    National Movement issued a statement on 4 April

    condemning the Yerevan district court ruling of the

    previous day empowering the country's prosecutor-

    general to ask the parliament to allow the detention of

    parliamentary deputy and former Interior Minister Vano

    Siradeghian, Noyan Tapan reported (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 4 April 2000). The statement characterized the

    measures against Siradeghian as "persecution" and a

    manifestation of the "wave of terror" sweeping the

    country. It said the court ruling demonstrates that the

    Armenian judiciary is not independent of the executive.

    Also on 4 April, parliamentary deputy speaker Gagik

    Aslanian said he thinks it unlikely that Siradeghian has

    fled the country to avoid being taken into custody,

    according to Armenpress cited by Groong. LF

    [03] FORMER GEORGIAN NAVAL COMMANDER

    SENTENCED

    A Tbilisi district court on 4 April handed

    down a two-year prison sentence to Naval Captain Otar

    Chkhartishvili, former commander of the Georgian navy,

    for abuse of office and misappropriating 78,000 lari

    ($40,000), Caucasus Press reported. The prosecution had

    demanded a 12-year jail term. Chkhartishvili refused to

    testify during his trial, which lasted over a year. He had

    been fired by Defense Minister David Tevzadze in spring

    1998 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 May 1998). LF

    [04] KAZAKHSTAN'S PREMIER ANTICIPATES RISE IN GDP

    Addressing a cabinet session in Astana on 4 April,

    Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev said

    that GDP growth during the first quarter of 2000 is likely

    to exceed 8 percent, compared with the previous year,

    Interfax reported. He said industrial output for the first

    quarter of the year increased by 14.5 percent, compared

    with the first three months of 1999. Toqaev also noted a

    marked improvement in tax collection. In an interview

    published in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 1 April, Toqaev's

    first deputy, Aleksandr Pavlov, noted that Kazakhstan has

    finally overcome the after-effects of the 1998 Russian

    economic crisis, and he predicted a stage of "steady

    growth." LF

    [05] COMPROMISED KAZAKH SECURITY OFFICIAL MOVES

    TO FOREIGN MINISTRY

    Prime Minister Toqaev has

    named Nurtai Abyqaev to the post of first deputy foreign

    minister, Interfax reported on 4 April. Abyqaev was

    dismissed in August 1999 from his post as head of the

    National Security Committee for his involvement in the

    clandestine sale to North Korea of obsolete MiG fighters

    (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 August 1999). He had

    previously served as head of the presidential

    administration and as Kazakhstan's ambassador to the

    U.K. LF

    [06] POLICE DISPERSE KYRGYZ PROTESTERS

    Some 200

    police used force to disperse participants in the ongoing

    picket in central Bishkek during the late evening of 4

    April, RFE/RL's bureau in the Kyrgyz capital reported.

    Fifteen picketers who had embarked on a hunger strike to

    protest the 22 March detention of opposition Ar-Namys

    party chairman Feliks Kulov were forcibly hospitalized.

    Kulov had appealed to them earlier that day to abandon

    their fast. On 31 March the Bishkek City administration

    had issued a ban on pickets and demonstrations, except

    on one city square at a greater distance from the

    government building. LF

    [07] BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT VISITS TAJIKISTAN

    Alyaksandr Lukashenka arrived in Dushanbe on 4 April at

    the head of a delegation that also included the Belarusian

    defense, industry and finance ministers and the secretary

    of the country's Security Council, ITAR-TASS reported.

    Lukashenka stressed the unused potential for expanding

    by up to 10 times bilateral trade, which declined by 40

    percent last year, according to Interfax. He said Belarus is

    interested in importing cotton, aluminum, and tobacco

    from Tajikistan and exporting agricultural equipment,

    fertilizers and oil products. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [08] SERBIAN OFFICERS REVEAL 'SICKENING ATROCITIES'

    IN KOSOVA

    A new internal Yugoslav army report details

    numerous Serbian officers' revulsion at the atrocities they

    saw fellow Serbs commit against defenseless Albanian

    civilians in Kosova in 1999, London's "The Independent"

    reported on 5 April. One commander of a tank unit said

    that "for the entire time I was in [Kosova], I never saw a

    single enemy soldier, and my unit was never involved in

    firing at military targets." He added that "tanks, which

    cost $2.5 million each, were used to slaughter Albanian

    children. I am ashamed," the British daily added. A second

    officer described how he watched with his "own eyes as a

    reservist lined up 30 Albanian women and children...,

    crouched down behind an anti-aircraft machine-gun, and

    pulled the trigger. The half-inch bullets just tore the

    bodies apart," he said. The army compiled the study in

    January and February to "gauge morale against the

    backdrop of growing tension between Serbia and

    Montenegro." Most officers were "appalled" at the

    prospect of a conflict with Montenegro and were

    "traumatized" by what they saw in Kosova, the daily

    added. PM

    [09] YUGOSLAV ARMY REJECTS SPECIAL LINKS TO

    MONTENEGRO

    The army said in a statement in Belgrade

    on 4 April that it communicates directly with civilian

    authorities and does not need any go-betweens, "Danas"

    reported. The statement added that three former generals

    whom the Montenegrin government has hired as advisers

    were fired from the military because they "lost the trust"

    of the army (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 April 2000). PM

    [10] ROBERTSON SAYS KOSOVA MISSION ON 'RAZOR'S

    EDGE'

    NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson said in

    Washington on 4 April that the alliance's mission in

    Kosova is "still on that razor's edge between success...or

    failure--failure of political will, a failure to put in the right

    resources. We have to succeed for a whole series of

    reasons, but most of all because we want to create a

    model...for what the international community can do in

    stopping evil and rebuilding a healthy, [multi-]ethnic,

    [and] democratic society," AP reported. PM

    [11] KOSOVA VILLAGES QUIET AFTER CLASH

    Several

    Serbian-inhabited villages in the Sara National Park area

    on the Kosova-Macedonian border were quiet on 5 April

    after a clash between some 150 local Serbian civilians and

    KFOR troops the previous day, Reuters reported. The clash

    involved "shoving, clubs, dogs, and rubber bullets," AP

    added. The confrontation began when peacekeepers tried

    to confiscate illegally-held grenades from a Serbian home

    and arrested one Serb. The man subsequently escaped and

    was not recaptured. Some 11 U.S. troops, one Polish

    soldier, an interpreter, and up to 14 Serbian civilians

    sustained light injuries. PM

    [12] CROATIAN POLICE ARREST ALLEGED SERBIAN WAR

    CRIMINAL

    Police in Sisak arrested Nebojsa Jelic on 4

    April after he returned from Serbia. The ethnic Serb is

    wanted for allegedly "maltreating and torturing" 16

    Croatian policemen and a civilian in Glina in 1991, AP

    reported. Jelic, who belonged to a paramilitary unit

    during the Krajina Serb uprising, confessed his crimes to

    police. He added that he felt he would be better off "in a

    Croatian prison than living as a free man in Serbia," the

    news agency added. PM

    [13] DEL PONTE SEEKS EVIDENCE IN CROATIA

    The Hague-

    based war crimes tribunal's chief prosecutor, Carla Del

    Ponte, arrived in Zagreb on 4 April from Slovenia. She met

    with President Stipe Mesic and is slated to hold talks with

    Prime Minister Ivica Racan and Justice Minister Stjepan

    Ivanisevic on 5 April. Her main goal is to obtain key

    documents regarding the Croatian offensives in Krajina in

    1995 and their aftermath. Mesic said that Croatia wants to

    cooperate with the tribunal because the government

    knows that the country can be absolved of collective guilt

    for war crimes only by establishing the guilt of specific

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

    Government spokesmen would neither confirm nor deny

    reports that Del Ponte is looking for specific documents

    about wartime Generals Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak, Ivan

    Korade, and Mirko Norac, "Novi List" reported on 5 April.

    PM

    [14] IS PLAVSIC ON HAGUE'S ARREST LIST?

    Several Bosnian

    Serb legal experts say that virtually all Bosnian Serb

    leaders during the 1992-1995 war have been indicted by

    the Hague-based tribunal, either openly or in sealed

    indictments. Allegedly included on the list is former

    Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic, who has long

    broken with the hard-liners, "Vesti" reported on 5 April.

    The newspaper also notes that NATO recently refused to

    guarantee the safety of General Manojlo Milovanovic, who

    consequently refused to go on a planned trip to Brussels.

    PM

    [15] PETRITSCH CALLS FOR 'CHANGE' IN BOSNIAN VOTE

    Wolfgang Petritsch, who is the international community's

    chief representative in Bosnia, said in a statement in

    Sarajevo on 4 April that he hopes voters will choose

    "change" when they cast their ballots in local elections on

    8 April. He specifically urged voters to consider voting for

    "open lists" instead of traditional one-party slates,

    RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. The international

    community's representatives in Bosnia want to break the

    10-year grip of nationalist parties on the electorate. The

    nationalists, for their part, have accused the foreigners of

    interfering in the electoral process. In addition, Petritsch

    warned that Bosnia may soon face a deep "economic

    crisis" unless its legislators quickly introduce key reforms

    and work seriously to fight corruption, "Oslobodjenje"

    reported. PM

    [16] SERBIA BANS CORRESPONDENT

    The Serbian

    authorities on 4 April banned Carlotta Gall, who is a

    correspondent for the "New York Times," from visiting

    Serbia for one year. Gall's visa had long expired. The ban

    also applies to Edward Testa, who is a photographer

    working for the same daily, AP reported. In New York,

    Gall's editor Andrew Rosenthal said that his newspaper

    has asked the Serbian authorities to "look into this." PM

    [17] LARGEST MACEDONIAN BANK SOLD

    The National

    Bank of Greece, the European Bank for Reconstruction and

    Development, and the International Financing

    Cooperation bought some 65 percent of the shares of

    Stopanska Banka for $46.5 million on 4 April. Some 80

    percent of the foreign-held assets belong to the National

    Bank of Greece. PM

    [18] ALBANIAN FORMALLY ENDS DEATH PENALTY

    Prime

    Minister Ilir Meta signed documents at the Council of

    Europe in Strasbourg on 4 April confirming that his

    country has abolished capital punishment, "Die Presse"

    reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 December 1999). PM

    [19] ITALY, ALBANIA AGREE ON MIGRANT LABOR

    The

    Italian Embassy in Tirana said in a statement on 4 April

    that Italy has agreed to accept 6,000 seasonal workers in

    an effort to halt illegal immigration. To apply for a visa,

    the workers need only an invitation from relatives already

    working legally in Italy, dpa reported. Previously, legal

    migrants had to find a job in Italy before applying for a

    visa. Tirana and Rome want to end the lucrative traffic in

    illegal immigrants from Albania to Italy. In related news,

    the Albanian Foreign Ministry on 5 April issued a

    statement appealing to Greece not to shoot at ships

    carrying illegal immigrants. The previous day, Greek

    patrol boats allegedly fired at a high-speed boat carrying

    illegal immigrants from Albania to Corfu, Reuters

    reported. PM

    [20] SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER IN ROMANIA

    Eduard

    Kukan and his Romanian counterpart, Petre Roman, said

    in Bucharest on 4 April their countries will support each

    other's efforts to gain membership in the EU and NATO as

    well as temporary seats on the UN Security Council,

    Rompres and TASR reported. Roman invited Slovakia to

    participate in the construction of the new seaport

    Constanta-South and accepted Slovakia's offer to take part

    in building a second bridge across the River Danube.

    Meanwhile, in Bratislava, Slovak Environment Minister

    Laszlo Miklos said his country will seek compensation

    from Bucharest for damage caused by two recent

    incidents of pollution on the Tisza River. Miklos said

    Bratislava will coordinate its efforts to obtain

    compensation with other countries in the region. VG

    [21] MULTICULTURAL UNIVERSITY IN ROMANIA GIVEN

    'GREEN LIGHT'

    Overturning a decision by the Bucharest

    Appeals Court, the Supreme Court on 4 April paved the

    way for the setting up of the Petofi-Schiller

    "multicultural" university, Mediafax reported. The

    government had appealed the lower court's decision,

    which had ruled at the request of the Party of Social

    Democracy in Romania and the Party of Romanian

    National Unity that the institution was "illegal." The

    government had decided on 30 September 1998 to

    establish the university. The decision of the Supreme

    Court is final and cannot be appealed. MS

    [22] ROMANIAN COURT APPROVES ROYAL RESTITUTION

    A court in Arad has approved former King Michael's

    request that the Savarsin castle in Transylvania be

    restituted to him, Romanian Radio reported on 4 April.

    The castle is, in fact, a large hunting lodge. MS

    [23] MOLDOVAN OFFICIAL SAYS RUSSIA TO SUBMIT

    TIMETABLE FOR TROOP WITHDRAWAL

    Moldovan

    Foreign Ministry official Ion Stavila said on 4 April that

    Russia has promised to submit a timetable for the

    withdrawal of its troops from the breakaway region of

    Transdniester by the end of April, BASA-press and Infotag

    reported. He said Moldovan and Russian negotiators

    agreed to this during talks in Chisinau last weekend. VG

    [24] BULGARIA AGAIN REJECTS UN REPORT

    Bulgaria on 4

    April again rejected a recent UN report saying the country

    violated international sanctions against the sale of arms to

    Angola's UNITA rebels (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 March

    2000), an RFE/RL correspondent reported. The Bulgarian

    mission at the UN has sent a letter to the UN Security

    Council describing the report as a "distortion and

    misinterpretation" of the facts. The UN Security Council is

    expected to consider a resolution based on the report in

    about two weeks. VG

    [25] BULGARIAN LEFTIST PARTIES TO COOPERATE

    The

    Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Euro-Left have agreed to

    cooperate in Bulgaria's next parliamentary elections,

    Bulgarian Radio reported on 4 April. Meanwhile, the Green

    Party has announced that it will leave the Alliance for

    National Salvation to form a new parliamentary group. VG


    [C] END NOTE

    [26] TURN OF THE SCREWS

    by Julie A. Corwin

    As Russia and the rest of the world waits for

    President-elect Vladimir Putin to make some decisive

    policy moves, leaders in Russia's far-flung regions already

    know what to expect. During his three months as acting

    president, Putin initiated changes in how Moscow

    manages its relations with the periphery. And in a marked

    contrast to how he began his tenure at the helm of the

    Federal Security Service (FSB), Putin is making no

    assurances that a major overhaul will not occur.

    Consider Putin's words at his first press conference

    when he took over as director of the FSB in 1998. He

    promised that "there will practically be no new

    approaches to work with the regions." He declared that

    control in the regions "will be strengthened but no extra

    tightening of the screws (zakruchivaniye gaek) will take

    place." Before his FSB assignment, Putin headed the

    Kremlin's Control Department, where, among other

    things, he uncovered 9,000 cases in which federal money

    totaling some 3 trillion rubles ($104 billion at the current

    exchange rate) had been spent by the regions for purposes

    other than those intended. Putin's rise to power made

    regional leaders understandably nervous.

    Now, as then, regional leaders' anxiety is almost

    palpable. Governors of all political stripes moved with

    breakneck speed to back Putin's presidential campaign

    and form their own branches of the Putin-backed Unity

    movement. Some even suggested that the presidential

    term be lengthened and the federation reformed into a

    smaller number of more manageable units. But rather

    than reassuring the fretful regional poo-bahs, this time

    Putin started promising change from the very beginning.

    Less than a month after taking over from former

    President Boris Yeltsin, Putin called for declaring a war

    against the "legal chaos" existing in regions where local

    laws often conflict with federal legislation. Later, he spoke

    about the need to place "all subjects of the Russian

    Federation in the same economic conditions vis-a-vis the

    federal center," noting that "several subjects have certain

    privileges that others do not." So far, Putin's only

    concession to maintaining the status quo was rejection of

    the idea of appointing--rather than electing--governors, as

    some regional heads had suggested. The president-elect

    noted that the Russian population has "gotten used to its

    right to influence who will be its leader."

    But more important than Putin's words have been his

    actions and that of his government. One month after his

    appointment as acting president, Putin dismissed more

    than 20 presidential representatives to Russian regions,

    replacing them with his own appointees. In the weeks that

    followed, the Justice Ministry announced the formation of

    a commission to check the compliance of regional laws

    with federal legislation; the Interior Ministry reorganized

    its structure, subordinating all of its regional criminal

    police units to Moscow headquarters; the Finance Ministry

    announced stricter controls over regional finances; and

    the Tax Ministry announced expansion of its project to

    maximize information about the regions' tax-paying

    capabilities. And only last week, German Gref, the head of

    the Center for Strategic Research, the think tank charged

    with drafting Putin's economic program, told reporters

    that the relationship between the federal government and

    regional governors will be revised.

    What all these diverse policies have in common is a

    tightening of control by the center over the regions. And it

    may be reasonable to assume that in the future Putin will

    seek to maximize control by supporting those regional

    heads who not only express loyalty but can themselves

    control outcomes on their territories and deliver on their

    promises to the center. Those leaders who did not get the

    vote out for Putin in presidential elections may find

    themselves in a vulnerable position vis-a-vis Moscow. One

    example might be Primorskii Krai, where Governor

    Yevgenii Nazdratenko was one of the first governors to

    support Unity. There, Putin barely scraped a victory with

    some 40.08 percent of the vote, compared with

    Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov's 36.36

    percent. Similarly, in Buryatia, Putin also performed

    poorly next to Zyuganov, 41.96 percent versus 40.53

    percent. This occurred. despite the fact that three deputy

    prime ministers in the republic's government took three-

    month vacations so that they could head the local election

    headquarters for Putin.

    Since Putin has rejected the notion of appointing

    governors, he may have to rely on less obvious means of

    controlling regional leaders. "Vedomosti" suggested last

    month that new legal measures being introduced to

    tighten federal control over regional finances may make

    regional leaders "docile" without the necessity of more

    overt administrative measures. After all, only a handful of

    Russia's 89 regions contribute more in revenue to the

    center than they get in return. But previous attempts at

    recentralizing Russia have generally failed--stymied in

    part by the sheer size of the federation. Putin may have

    one advantage that his predecessors since Stalin lacked:

    fear.

    Putin's conduct of policy in Chechnya and in the

    presidential elections suggests he has a tendency toward

    "overkill" and is uncomfortable leaving anything to

    chance. In 1998, when Kalmykia's President Kirsan

    Ilyumzhinov challenged the then weak Yeltsin leadership

    by announcing that his republic considered itself outside

    of the federation and would no longer transfer its federal

    taxes, Moscow responded harshly, dismissing its federal

    treasury official there and suspending all aid. What is the

    likelihood that Ilyumzhinov or one of his peers will risk

    making even a less dramatic statement and discovering

    President Putin's reaction?

    05-04-00


    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, 5 April 2000 - 16:33:10 UTC