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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 5, No. 109, 01-06-08

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. 5, No. 109, 8 June 2001


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] ARMENIAN PRESIDENT ADVOCATES DE JURE INDEPENDENCE FOR NAGORNO-KARABAKH
  • [02] RUSSIAN STATE DUMA DELEGATION ARRIVES IN ARMENIA
  • [03] ARMENIAN CATHOLICOS SEEKS TO JUSTIFY EXCOMMUNICATION OF MOSCOW ARCHBISHOP
  • [04] AZERBAIJANI COURT SENTENCES ALLEGED PKK INTERLOPERS
  • [05] AZERBAIJANIS FROM ARMENIA FORM GOVERNMENT IN EXILE
  • [06] ABKHAZ PRESIDENT PROPOSES CANDIDATE FOR PREMIER
  • [07] LEBANESE BUSINESSMAN ABDUCTED IN GEORGIA
  • [08] ARMED KABARDIANS INTERCEPTED AFTER CROSSING GEORGIAN BORDER
  • [09] GEORGIAN NAVAL COMMANDER REINSTATED
  • [10] KAZAKHSTAN'S UIGHURS OPPOSE UZBEK MEMBERSHIP OF SHANGHAI FORUM
  • [11] KAZAKH-TURKISH ECONOMIC COMMISSION SESSION ENDS
  • [12] ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL STRESSES COMMITMENT TO PROTECTING KAZAKHSTAN'S ECOSYSTEM
  • [13] KYRGYZ DEFENSE, SECURITY OFFICIALS VISIT TAJIKISTAN
  • [14] OSCE CHAIRMAN NOTES PIVOTAL ROLE OF TAJIKISTAN
  • [15] TAJIK NATIONAL BANK CHAIRMAN SOLICITS JAPANESE INVESTMENT
  • [16] NEW TURKMEN GAS FIELD COMES ON STREAM

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [17] MACEDONIAN ARMY ATTACKS DESPITE REBEL CEASE-FIRE OFFER
  • [18] MACEDONIAN PRIME MINISTER WANTS TO 'DESTROY REBELS'
  • [19] ALBANIA SLAMS MACEDONIAN CALL FOR 'STATE OF WAR'
  • [20] YUGOSLAV JUSTICE MINISTER SUGGESTS MILOSEVIC TO BE EXTRADITED WITH OR WITHOUT LAW
  • [21] MICROSOFT SIGNS DEAL WITH YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES
  • [22] MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT GETS A SPEAKER
  • [23] KOSOVAR SERB LEADER VOTED OUT
  • [24] REPUBLIKA SRPSKA APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH BELGRADE
  • [25] BOSNIAN KINGPIN ARRESTED IN CROATIA
  • [26] WORK BEGUN ON HERZEGOVINA'S MOSTAR BRIDGE
  • [27] STANDARDS & POOR'S IMPROVES ROMANIA'S RATINGS
  • [28] NEW ROMANIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT HEAD SWORN IN
  • [29] ROMANIAN PRESIDENT DINES IN ROYAL COMPANY
  • [30] MOLDOVAN PREMIER WANTS JOURNALISTS TO PROVIDE 'OBJECTIVE COVERAGE'
  • [31] MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT PROHIBITS FOREIGN FINANCING OF MEDIA
  • [32] MOLDOVAN 2000 ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE DATA RELEASED
  • [33] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT SEEKS SECOND PRESIDENTIAL TERM

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [34] There is no End Note today.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] ARMENIAN PRESIDENT ADVOCATES DE JURE INDEPENDENCE FOR NAGORNO-KARABAKH

    Speaking in Brussels on 6 June following his meeting with EC President Romano Prodi, Armenian President Robert Kocharian said that a settlement of the Karabakh conflict should provide for both de facto and de jure independence for the currently unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, RFE/RL's Brussels correspondent reported. Kocharian added that Armenia is currently discussing three "very important points" that could lead to a solution to that issue. He did not elaborate. LF

    [02] RUSSIAN STATE DUMA DELEGATION ARRIVES IN ARMENIA

    A State Duma delegation headed by Chairman Gennadii Seleznev arrived in Yerevan on 7 June, ITAR-TASS And RFE/RL's Armenian Service reported. Seleznev said the Duma is prepared to help mediate a solution to the Karabakh conflict as the OSCE Minsk Group "has not fully realized its potential" for doing so. He also expressed the hope that Armenia will consider acceding to the Russia-Belarus Union. Armenian communists have been arguing in favor of doing so since 1997. LF

    [03] ARMENIAN CATHOLICOS SEEKS TO JUSTIFY EXCOMMUNICATION OF MOSCOW ARCHBISHOP

    Catholicos Garegin II told a news conference in Echmiadzin on 7 June that his decision last month to defrock Archbishop Tigran Kyureghian, who headed the Moscow diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, was justified given that Kyureghian had rejected his authority, and was trying to establish a separate church, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. Kyureghian had decided to form a splinter group named the Moscow Union of Armenian Churches that would recognize only the authority of the National Ecclesiastical Assembly, the church's supreme body. He insists that Garegin's decision to excommunicate him is invalid. LF

    [04] AZERBAIJANI COURT SENTENCES ALLEGED PKK INTERLOPERS

    A court in the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan on 6 June sentenced five men identified as members of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party to four- years imprisonment for crossing the Azerbaijani frontier illegally, Turan reported the following day (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 June 2001). The men were apprehended last September trying to enter Armenia from Nakhichevan, having crossed into Azerbaijani territory from Iran. LF

    [05] AZERBAIJANIS FROM ARMENIA FORM GOVERNMENT IN EXILE

    Representatives of an estimated 3 million Azerbaijanis whose ancestors lived on territories that now comprise part of the Republic of Armenia have established a government in exile and are considering how to reclaim those territories, according to the Azerbaijani daily "Ekho" on 6 June, as cited by Groong. The government in exile is one of several bodies that claim to represent the interests of Azerbaijanis from Armenia (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 4, No. 21, 8 June 2001). LF

    [06] ABKHAZ PRESIDENT PROPOSES CANDIDATE FOR PREMIER

    Vladislav Ardzinba on 7 June proposed to the Abkhaz parliament the candidacy of his special adviser, Prosecutor-General Anri Djergenia, to replace Vyacheslav Tsugba as prime minister, Caucasus Press reported. A 60- year-old lawyer and graduate of Leningrad State University, Djergenia has served since 1995 as Ardzinba's representative in talks with Georgia on the optimum model for structuring relations between Abkhazia and the central Georgian government. Givi Lominadze, Abkhazia's former interior minister and the head of the Abkhazeti faction in the Georgian parliament, told Caucasus Press on 7 June that the confirmation as premier of Djergenia, whom he characterized as "a smart lad," would negatively impact bilateral relations. But Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze expressed his approval of Ardzinba's choice on 8 June, according to Caucasus Press. Referring to persistent rumors that Ardzinba is seriously ill, Shevardnadze said the Abkhaz president "had to find someone he could trust and who would be efficient at the Georgian-Abkhaz talks." LF

    [07] LEBANESE BUSINESSMAN ABDUCTED IN GEORGIA

    Three unidentified gunmen kidnapped Lebanese businessman Sharbel Bashar Anu in a Tbilisi suburb on 7 June, Reuters and Interfax reported. His car was later found abandoned near Tbilisi Airport. LF

    [08] ARMED KABARDIANS INTERCEPTED AFTER CROSSING GEORGIAN BORDER

    Georgian border guards surrounded and detained 13 Kabardians armed with machine guns who had crossed from the Russian Federation into Georgian territory late on 7 June, Caucasus Press reported. The men were taken to Tbilisi by helicopter for questioning. They are believed to have been heading for Chechnya. LF

    [09] GEORGIAN NAVAL COMMANDER REINSTATED

    Former Georgian navy commander Otar Chkhartishvili has been reinstated in that post, from which he was dismissed in 1998 in connection with charges of embezzlement and abuse of power that were subsequently overturned, Caucasus Press reported on 7 June (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 March 2001). LF

    [10] KAZAKHSTAN'S UIGHURS OPPOSE UZBEK MEMBERSHIP OF SHANGHAI FORUM

    The heads of two organizations representing Kazakhstan's Uighur minority held a press conference in Almaty on 6 June, at which they expressed their concern at the possibility that Uzbekistan will accede to the Shanghai Forum during that body's summit in Shanghai next week, RFE/RL's bureau in the former Kazakh capital reported. The Uighurs characterized the Shanghai Forum, which currently comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, as an "anti-Uighur" group. They also announced the disappearance on 24 May of Uighur activist Dilbar Samsakova. LF

    [11] KAZAKH-TURKISH ECONOMIC COMMISSION SESSION ENDS

    A three-day session of the Kazakh-Turkish Joint Economic Commission ended in Astana on 7 June, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported. Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev noted at the closing session on 7 June that Turkey is Kazakhstan's second-largest trade partner after China, and that Turkish businessmen have invested some $400 million in the Kazakh economy since 1991. In addition to long-term economic cooperation, the two delegations also discussed the prospects for extending the Baku-Ceyhan oil export pipeline to the Kazakh port of Aqtau. Turkish Minister of State Abdulhalik Cay, who headed the Turkish delegation, told journalists that he has no doubts the pipeline will eventually be built. LF

    [12] ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL STRESSES COMMITMENT TO PROTECTING KAZAKHSTAN'S ECOSYSTEM

    Meeting in Astana on 7 June with Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev, Royal Dutch/Shell senior official Phil Watts said his company considers it important to preserve the ecological balance while exploiting Kazakhstan's oil deposits, Interfax and RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported. Royal Dutch/Shell shares with Rosneft a 7.5 percent stake in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, and has a 14.29 percent stake in the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (OKIOC). Over the past two years, Kazakh authorities have accused both OKIOC and a second international consortium, Tengizchevroil, of violating ecological norms in drilling (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 23 April 2001). LF

    [13] KYRGYZ DEFENSE, SECURITY OFFICIALS VISIT TAJIKISTAN

    On a working visit to Dushanbe on 6-7 June, Kyrgyz Defense Minister Esen Topoev and Security Council Secretary Misir Ashyrkulov met with Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov and Defense Minister Colonel General Sheraili Khairulloev to discuss regional security issues, the implementation of the recent decision of the CIS Collective Security Treaty signatories to establish a rapid reaction force to be partly based in Kyrgyzstan, and the prospects of a new incursion this summer by Islamist guerrillas. Asia Plus-Blitz quoted Ashyrkulov as saying he does not doubt Tajik statements that there are at present no fighters from the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in those regions of eastern Tajikistan that border Kyrgyzstan. LF

    [14] OSCE CHAIRMAN NOTES PIVOTAL ROLE OF TAJIKISTAN

    Following talks in Dushanbe on 7 June with President Rakhmonov, OSCE Chairman in Office Mircea Geoana said Tajikistan "is a very important country for the OSCE and its stability is important for the strategic balance in the Central Asian region," AP reported. Geoana pledged support for Tajik environmental, human rights, and reform programs, but stressed that the volume of that aid will depend on the progress made toward democratization. LF

    [15] TAJIK NATIONAL BANK CHAIRMAN SOLICITS JAPANESE INVESTMENT

    Speaking at a conference held in Tokyo on 5-6 June on economic aid to Central Asia, Tajik National Bank Chairman Murodali Alimardonov assured prospective investors that political stability in Tajikistan has been "completely restored," Asia Plus-Blitz reported. He said Dushanbe would welcome Japanese investment particularly in hydroelectricity, the mining and textile industries, and telecommunications. LF

    [16] NEW TURKMEN GAS FIELD COMES ON STREAM

    Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov on 7 June inaugurated a new gas pipeline that connects the Byashkyzyl field in northeastern Turkmenistan with an export pipeline via Kazakhstan to Russia, AP and Interfax reported. The Byashkyzyl field has estimated reserves of 5 billion cubic meters; its exploitation, together with three neighboring deposits, will enable Turkmenistan to increase gas exports from 45 to 75 billion cubic meters by 2005, a spokesman for Niyazov said. LF

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [17] MACEDONIAN ARMY ATTACKS DESPITE REBEL CEASE-FIRE OFFER

    Macedonian ground and helicopter forces attacked positions of the National Liberation Army (UCK) in the Kumanovo-Lipkovo region early in the morning of 8 June. An army spokesman said that the goal is to "eliminate terrorist groups" as well as to "save civilians who are used as a shield by the terrorists," Reuters reported. The spokesman told AP that the assault involves "all available means, including heavy artillery." The previous evening, the UCK offered a unilateral cease-fire and called on the government to respond. The government's position is that it refuses to deal with the UCK, which it calls "terrorist." Nikola Dimitrov, the national security adviser to President Boris Trajkovski, rejected any deal with "the terrorists who have shown they are ready to kill and destroy Macedonia." Trajkovski is expected to announce his own peace plan in the course of 8 June. PM

    [18] MACEDONIAN PRIME MINISTER WANTS TO 'DESTROY REBELS'

    Ljubco Georgievski said on 8 June that "Macedonia must mercilessly confront the terrorists. Any delay would only mean deepening and a spreading of fighting," AP reported. "Without destroying them first, it is not possible to start a political dialogue" with ethnic Albanian representatives, he added. His remarks on Macedonian television preceded the arrival of EU security policy chief Javier Solana, who is expected to call for a negotiated, political solution (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June 2001). PM

    [19] ALBANIA SLAMS MACEDONIAN CALL FOR 'STATE OF WAR'

    The Albanian government said in a statement on 7 June that Georgievski's proposal to declare a "state of war" will only make matters worse, dpa reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June 2001). The statement said: "The Albanian government shares the view of the EU and the United States that in the present situation, a declaration of a state of war will not only be inappropriate but it will also have negative effects." The Albanian government called for a solution to the crisis through dialogue and democratic reforms to raise the legal status of the ethnic Albanian population to "European standards." Referring to the rampage in Bitola against ethnic Albanian shops and property, the statement pointed out that "there is no valid reason that can justify the savage ethnic violence and hatred" (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 8 June 2001). The statement added that "the government of Albania calls on the Macedonian authorities to take measures to secure the lives and properties of Albanians in Bitola," Reuters reported. PM

    [20] YUGOSLAV JUSTICE MINISTER SUGGESTS MILOSEVIC TO BE EXTRADITED WITH OR WITHOUT LAW

    Echoing recent comments by Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, Momcilo Grubac said on 8 June that Belgrade must find a way to extradite former President Slobodan Milosevic or risk international isolation, AP reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June 2001). PM

    [21] MICROSOFT SIGNS DEAL WITH YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES

    Microsoft Vice President Michael Lacombe signed a letter of intent in Belgrade on 7 June to provide financing and know-how to the Yugoslav and Serbian authorities to help computerize their operations, AP reported on 7 June. In return, the authorities will help Microsoft establish its presence in Serbia and work to combat software piracy. A final agreement will be signed at an unspecified time in the future. PM

    [22] MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT GETS A SPEAKER

    Legislators voted 42 to 22 in Podgorica on 7 June to elect Liberal Alliance leader Vesna Perovic as speaker of the Montenegrin parliament, "Pobjeda" reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 June 2001). PM

    [23] KOSOVAR SERB LEADER VOTED OUT

    The assembly of the Serbian National Council (SNV) voted in Mitrovica to remove Oliver Ivanovic as vice president, "Vesti" reported on 8 June. Several other functionaries were also ousted. The reason for Ivanovic's ouster was that many felt that he had often acted on his own, without a mandate from the SNV, the daily reported. Ivanovic told "Blic" that his ouster was orchestrated by hard-liners who reject his "realistic" approach in dealings with the international community. He suggested that his rivals follow Milosevic's line and are unduly complicating matters for the new Belgrade authorities. The case recalls that of Father Sava Janjic, who was active in the SNV and a spokesman for Bishop Artemije until pressured to leave office in late 2000 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 December 2000). PM

    [24] REPUBLIKA SRPSKA APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH BELGRADE

    The parliament of the Bosnian Serb entity ratified the agreement between Banja Luka and Belgrade on special relations, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported on 7 June (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June 2001). PM

    [25] BOSNIAN KINGPIN ARRESTED IN CROATIA

    Police in Rijeka jailed Fikret Abdic on 7 June after a county court issued a warrant for him to be placed in preventive custody for one month, "Oslobodjenje" reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June 2001). The man who was once the kingpin of the Bihac pocket and one of the most powerful politicians in Bosnia is wanted for war crimes allegedly committed in 1993 and 1994. PM

    [26] WORK BEGUN ON HERZEGOVINA'S MOSTAR BRIDGE

    Reconstruction work on the famous stone Old Bridge began on 7 June after several years of activity to prepare plans and materials. The bridge was designed by the Ottoman architect Sinan and built in 1566. Croatian gunners destroyed it in 1993 during their conflict with the Muslims. Funding for the reconstruction comes from a variety of sources, including the U.S., Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Croatia, AP reported. PM

    [27] STANDARDS & POOR'S IMPROVES ROMANIA'S RATINGS

    Prime Minister Adrian Nastase on 7 June announced that the international rating agency Standards & Poor's has improved Romania's risk ratings from B- minus to B for long-term hard-currency loans and from C to B for short-term hard-currency loans. Ratings for loans in the national currency were improved from B-plus to B and from B to C for long- and short-term loans, respectively. Nastase said the decision of the international agency reflects an "acknowledgment of the cabinet's efforts to accelerate structural reforms, [and to] implement a consistent fiscal and monetary policy" as well as a "general improvement of Romania's international image, " RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. MS

    [28] NEW ROMANIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT HEAD SWORN IN

    Nicolae Popa was sworn in on 7 June as president of the Constitutional Court, replacing Lucian Mihai, who recently resigned, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Popa's mandate is for three years -- the remainder of the term Mihai would have served had he completed his mandate. Four other judges on the Constitutional Court -- Nicolae Cochinescu, Petre Ninosu, Serban Viorel Stanoiu, and Ioan Vida -- were also sworn in at a ceremony attended by President Ion Iliescu. MS

    [29] ROMANIAN PRESIDENT DINES IN ROYAL COMPANY

    Iliescu was the dinner guest of former King Michael at the Savarsin castle in Transylvania on 7 June, Mediafax reported. The castle was recently restituted to the former monarch and the private dinner was a return of the invitation extended by Iliescu to Michael shortly after the beginning of the monarch's present visit, which ends on 8 June. MS

    [30] MOLDOVAN PREMIER WANTS JOURNALISTS TO PROVIDE 'OBJECTIVE COVERAGE'

    Vasile Tarlev told media managers in Chisinau on 7 June that the government does not intend to impose censorship, but is calling on journalists to "constructively cooperate" with it and "cover events objectively," Infotag reported. Tarlev said he wants "the media to be guided by the national interest" and to "support all good initiatives, domestic producers, and every measure aimed at economic rehabilitation and at creating new jobs." He said journalists must pay greater attention to the problems of youth, provide "analytical articles on economic problems, popularize achievements of Moldovan scientists," and contribute to the struggle against criminality. Tarlev also said objective information must be provided "to the entire population" and for this purpose he proposed that the main national television newscast be subtitled in the Russian language to reach wider audiences, including the Transdniester. MS

    [31] MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT PROHIBITS FOREIGN FINANCING OF MEDIA

    The parliament on 7 June approved on first reading a bill prohibiting the financing of Moldovan publications by foreign governments or support received for that purpose in any other form, Infotag reported. The bill was submitted in the previous legislature but only came to debate now. Its provisions would not apply to children's publications, scientific publications, or periodicals published by the writers' and artists' unions. MS

    [32] MOLDOVAN 2000 ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE DATA RELEASED

    At the beginning of 2001, Moldova's external debt was $1.58 billion, or $435 per capita, according to data released by the National Bank and published by Infotag on 7 June. Hard-currency reserves on 1 January 2001 amounted to $231.62 million, some $46 million more than one year earlier. Industrial output in 2000 was 2.3 percent higher than in 1999, but agricultural output in the same period dropped by 2.6 percent. While exports practically stagnated (0.4 percent more than in 1999), imports grew by 28.5 percent. The trade deficit was $349.75 million. MS

    [33] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT SEEKS SECOND PRESIDENTIAL TERM

    Petar Stoyanov announced on 7 June that he will seek a second term in the presidential elections scheduled for the fall, AP reported. In a clear allusion to the growing popularity of former King Simeon II and his National Movement ahead of the 17 June parliamentary elections, Stoyanov said he decided to run "because I cannot be an onlooker when there is a very tangible risk that everything done so far would be wasted for the sake of nice promises and illusions." Stoyanov, who in 1996 ran as the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) candidate, will seek re-election as an independent. Simeon has been barred from running in the presidential contest by a court decision. A recent poll conducted by Alpha Research and cited by AFP has the National Movement Simeon II leading the field with 38 percent support, followed by the SDS with 25 percent. MS

    [C] END NOTE

    [34] There is no End Note today.

    08-06-01

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


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