Browse through our Interesting Nodes on the Balkan Peninsula A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 21 September 2021
 
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. 5, No. 131, 01-07-13

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. 131, 13 July 2001


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] PROPOSED ARMENIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES UNVEILED
  • [02] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT ACCUSES OSCE OF BETRAYING ITS PRINCIPLES...
  • [03] ...MEETS WITH MINSK GROUP CO-CHAIRS
  • [04] MAVERICK GEORGIAN PRIEST AGAIN ASSAULTS JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
  • [05] GEORGIAN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN ABKHAZ KILLINGS
  • [06] KAZAKHSTAN AGAIN SUMMONS EX-PREMIER FOR QUESTIONING
  • [07] KYRGYZSTAN'S DEBT TO RUSSIA RESCHEDULED
  • [08] TURKMENISTAN DEMANDS REPAYMENT OF AZERBAIJAN'S DEBTS
  • [09] U.S. EXPRESSES CONCERN AT DEATH OF UZBEK HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [10] QUICK SOLUTION IN MACEDONIA?
  • [11] SERBIAN TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY ANGERS NATIONALISTS
  • [12] DID MILOSEVIC SEEK BOSNIAN SERB'S ARREST?
  • [13] NEW YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT NEXT WEEK?
  • [14] SERBIAN ROYALS' PROPERTY RETURNED
  • [15] CROATIAN ATHLETES PROTEST GOVERNMENT'S COOPERATION WITH HAGUE
  • [16] BOSNIAN SERBS MOURN VICTIMS OF MUSLIMS
  • [17] ROMANIA 'WORRIED' ABOUT UKRAINIAN BLACK SEA DRILL
  • [18] CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION PROPOSAL RESUSCITATES OLD DEBATE IN ROMANIA...
  • [19] ...AND ROMANIAN NGOS SAYS BASIC DOCUMENT DISCRIMINATES AMONG CITIZENS
  • [20] MOLDOVA, UKRAINE, APPROVE ACCORD ON SWAPPING TERRITORIES
  • [21] BULGARIAN PARTIES REACT TO SIMEON'S DESIGNATION AS PREMIER

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [22] There is no End Note today.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] PROPOSED ARMENIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES UNVEILED

    Constitutional Court Judge Gagik Harutiunian on 12 July briefed journalists on the changes to Armenia's 1995 Constitution, which he said have been approved by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. Under those amendments, which were drafted by a presidential commission, the head of state would need the parliament's consent for appointing the prime minister and government ministers and would no longer be able to veto all cabinet decisions. The president would also be stripped of his right to dismiss the overwhelming majority of the country's judges. The package of amendments also seeks to boost legal safeguards against human rights abuses and envisages the abolition of the death penalty and a clause prohibiting dual citizenship. The amendments are to be sent to the National Assembly for consideration later this month and if approved will be the subject of a nationwide referendum that President Robert Kocharian hopes to call for next spring. LF

    [02] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT ACCUSES OSCE OF BETRAYING ITS PRINCIPLES...

    Meeting on 12 July in Baku with Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, Azerbaijan's President Heidar Aliev argued that the OSCE, of which Portugal will assume the rotating chairmanship in 2002, should acknowledge that it is betraying its professed commitment to protect the territorial integrity of member states by refusing to condemn Armenia's violations of that principle, Turan reported. "Impunity creates a bad precedent," ITAR-TASS quoted Aliev as saying. LF

    [03] ...MEETS WITH MINSK GROUP CO-CHAIRS

    President Aliev also met in Baku on 12 July with the OSCE Minsk Group co- chairmen to discuss the continuing search for a solution to the Karabakh conflict. Reuters quoted Russian co-chairman Nikolai Gribkov as saying that Aliev has affirmed his commitment to a peaceful solution. "It is some irresponsible politicians and reporters who have held the peace process hostage [by calling for renewed hostilities]," he added. According to ITAR- TASS, Aliev said that "Azerbaijan is ready to make certain compromises to ensure peace, although this runs counter the norms of international law," emphasizing at the same time that the concessions Armenia is required to make should be commensurate with those by Azerbaijan. Reuters suggested that Azerbaijan has demanded the return of the Karabakh town of Shusha, to which Armenia is unlikely to agree. The Armenian daily "Zhamanak" speculated on 12 July that Azerbaijan had done so in order to sabotage the ongoing talks. LF

    [04] MAVERICK GEORGIAN PRIEST AGAIN ASSAULTS JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

    Defrocked Georgian priest Vasili Mkalavishvili and his followers have launched separate attacks on prayer meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses in a village near Gori on 9 July and an apartment in Tbilisi on 11 July, Caucasus Press reported on 12 July. Several people were hospitalized with serious injuries after the latter incident. Mkalavishvili has led a witch- hunt against Jehovah's Witnesses since 1999. Meanwhile over 130,000 people have signed a petition drafted by the Jehovah's Witnesses in Georgia calling on the country's leadership to take steps to end religiously motivated violence. LF

    [05] GEORGIAN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN ABKHAZ KILLINGS

    An unnamed senior Georgian intelligence service official on 12 July rejected as "absurd" Abkhaz claims that that agency was behind the murder earlier this week -- allegedly by Georgian guerrillas -- of four Abkhaz villagers, Caucasus Press reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 July 2001). He attributed the murders to a rivalry between criminal groups. Tamaz Nadareishvili, the chairman of the Abkhaz parliament in exile, similarly denied any Georgian involvement in either the killings of the abduction of six Abkhaz, according to Caucasus Press on 13 July. LF

    [06] KAZAKHSTAN AGAIN SUMMONS EX-PREMIER FOR QUESTIONING

    The investigation into the criminal case against former Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin has been completed, and a summons to him to return to Kazakhstan to face charges of bribery, abuse of power, tax evasion, and illegal possession of weapons has been published in the country's media, Kazakhstan's Deputy Interior Minister Belsultan Sarkesov told journalists in Astana on 12 July, Interfax and RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported. Sarkesov said that move was necessary as Kazhegeldin has left Kazakhstan and "his present whereabouts are unknown." He added that recent amendments to the criminal code make it possible for Kazhegeldin to be tried and sentenced in absentia. LF

    [07] KYRGYZSTAN'S DEBT TO RUSSIA RESCHEDULED

    First Deputy Finance Minister Emirlan Toromyrzaev told journalists in Bishkek on 12 July that he and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Chernukhin signed an agreement in Moscow on 6 July postponing until April 2003 the beginning of repayments of some $60 million of its total $168 million debt to Russia. Of that amount, $105 million was due this year. LF

    [08] TURKMENISTAN DEMANDS REPAYMENT OF AZERBAIJAN'S DEBTS

    Turkmenistan has demanded the swift repayment of Azerbaijan's $59 million debt for natural gas supplies, Interfax and the independent Azerbaijani newspaper "525-gazeti" reported on 12 July, quoting an unidentified Azerbaijani government source. The Turkmen government has threatened going to arbitration if Baku fails to discharge that debt. LF

    [09] U.S. EXPRESSES CONCERN AT DEATH OF UZBEK HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

    U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on 12 July that the U.S. government is deeply concerned by the death in custody of detained Uzbek human rights activist Shovriq Ruzimorodov, AP reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 July 2001). Referring to claims that Ruzimorodov was subjected to torture in detention, Boucher noted that torture of detained persons constitutes a violation of both Uzbekistan's Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. LF

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [10] QUICK SOLUTION IN MACEDONIA?

    EU envoy Francois Leotard and his U.S. counterpart James Pardew said in a joint statement in Skopje on 12 July that "all the documents are now on the table. It is up to the leaders [of Macedonia's main political parties] now to engage in intensive negotiations to reach a political settlement. If the leaders are willing...a political solution is possible in the next few days, " dpa reported (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 13 July 2001). Leotard told journalists that the talks have been "extremely productive." An unnamed Western diplomat added that "the positions have narrowed," but that neither side will get everything it wants, Reuters reported. Another unnamed Western diplomat was less optimistic. He said that "the talks are essentially stuck right now because of [mutual] distrust on key issues." Those matters include language rights, representation in the police and other institutions, and a veto right for the Albanians over political issues directly affecting them. The news agency added that Albanian leader Arben Xhaferi has proven to be a tough and "formidable negotiator." PM

    [11] SERBIAN TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY ANGERS NATIONALISTS

    State-run Serbian Television (RTS) broadcast a BBC Television documentary on Srebrenica on 11 July. RTS General Director Aleksandar Crkvenjakov told RFE/RL's South Slavic Service the next day that the station received "hundreds" of phone calls in which the callers swore and objected to the broadcast. He added that there were also some favorable messages from viewers. In the Serbian parliament, legislators from Vojislav Seselj's Radical Party and some other nationalist groupings accused the governing Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition of attempting to assign "collective guilt" for the massacre to all Serbs, which, the Radicals said, was the message of the BBC program. Speaking for DOS, Cedomir Jovanovic said that the new government wants to break with the past and not conceal unpleasant facts from the public (see "RFE/RL South Slavic Report," 12 July 2001 and "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 17 October 2000 and 5 January 2001). PM

    [12] DID MILOSEVIC SEEK BOSNIAN SERB'S ARREST?

    Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Momcilo Perisic, a former head of the army's General Staff, said in Leskovac on 12 July that former President Slobodan Milosevic asked him in 1996 to arrest Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and deliver him to The Hague-based war crimes tribunal, Reuters reported. Perisic said that Milosevic wanted to please the Western powers and obtain the lifting of sanctions. Perisic said that he refused. If his account is correct, it is not clear why Milosevic, who held absolute power over the paramilitary police, was unable to find anyone else to do his bidding. PM

    [13] NEW YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT NEXT WEEK?

    Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica said in Belgrade on 12 July that the DOS and the Montenegrin Socialist People's Party (SNP) have reached an agreement on dividing the seats between them in the new Yugoslav government, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. He added that the government's main tasks will be to prepare a new federal constitution, which he "expects" will be approved by the Serbian and Montenegrin parliaments. Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic said that a new government could be in place as early as the week of 16 July. PM

    [14] SERBIAN ROYALS' PROPERTY RETURNED

    The Yugoslav government on 12 July "placed at the disposition" of the Karadjordjevic family the White Palace and Old Palace in Belgrade, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, the heir to the Serbian and Yugoslav throne, said that he plans to move into the former royal residences within a few days, adding that he has no political ambitions. The British-born and educated prince has previously said that he is "at the disposition of the Serbian people" if they want him as king. PM

    [15] CROATIAN ATHLETES PROTEST GOVERNMENT'S COOPERATION WITH HAGUE

    Eleven of Croatia's best-known sportsmen sent a joint letter to the government on 12 July, saying that they are "grieved" that the authorities plan to send two indicted generals to The Hague to face war crimes charges, Hina reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 and 10 July 2001). The athletes said: "Croatia was a victim [in the 1991-1995 conflict], and its generals were heroes. We were shocked to learn that the government has decided to hand over two generals to The Hague." Among the signatories is Wimbledon victor Goran Ivanisevic (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 July 2001). PM

    [16] BOSNIAN SERBS MOURN VICTIMS OF MUSLIMS

    One day after Muslims marked the sixth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, some 2,000 Serbs met near Bratunac to honor 60 Serbs killed by Muslim forces during the 1992-1995 conflict, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 and 12 July 2001). Those present at the ceremony included Republika Srpska President Mirko Sarovic and Zivko Radisic, the Serbian representative on the joint presidency. PM

    [17] ROMANIA 'WORRIED' ABOUT UKRAINIAN BLACK SEA DRILL

    The Foreign Ministry has issued the Ukrainian Embassy in Bucharest a "verbal note" expressing its "concern" about the Ukrainian announcement that a Ukrainian-British company has discovered "commercial oil and reserves" in the Black Sea and that drilling will soon begin, Mediafax reported. The ministry draws to the attention of Kyiv that the reserves are in the vicinity of Serpents Island, and that the negotiations on demarcating the continental shelf in that zone are still underway, in line with the provisions of the 1997 basic treaty between the two countries. The ministry says Ukraine has no right to grant licenses for drilling in the zone as long as the negotiations have not been concluded. Eight meetings between the sides have so far taken place to negotiate the issue and a ninth encounter is scheduled to take place in Kyiv this month (see RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 10 July 2001). MS

    [18] CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION PROPOSAL RESUSCITATES OLD DEBATE IN ROMANIA...

    Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) Senator Karoly Szabo on 12 July said the UDMR will propose in the ongoing debate on amending the constitution to replace its first article, which defines Romania as "a national and unitary state," with one defining it as a "civic state." The UDMR also said Romania should have "more than one official language," RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. The UDMR has opposed Article 1 ever since it was first debated by the Constituent Assembly in 1991, but has been overruled on the matter. President Ion Iliescu said in reaction that Article 148 in the constitution stipulates that neither the national and unitary state definition nor the country's republican form of government can be changed. Spokesmen for the National Liberal Party, the Democratic Party, and the Greater Romania Party also said they are opposed to the UDMR proposal. MS

    [19] ...AND ROMANIAN NGOS SAYS BASIC DOCUMENT DISCRIMINATES AMONG CITIZENS

    The Romanian Association of Former Political Refugees (AFRPR) and the Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Romania-Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH) on 12 July told journalists that Romanians citizens who are also nationals of another country are subject to discrimination, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. The protest follows a 3 July ruling of the Constitutional Court, which rejected the appeal of AFRPR Secretary Adrian Niculescu against the Defense Ministry's decision to dismiss him. Niculescu was counselor to former Defense Minister Victor Babiuc, but his contract was terminated in 2000 on the grounds that he also holds French citizenship. The AFRPR and APADOR-CH say that the constitution's Article 16, which prohibits foreign nationals from holding public office, is discriminatory when applied to holders of dual citizenship, and that the constitution also stipulates that international legislation on human rights prevails over internal legislation (Article 20). MS

    [20] MOLDOVA, UKRAINE, APPROVE ACCORD ON SWAPPING TERRITORIES

    The parliaments of Moldova and Ukraine on 12 July approved the agreement whereby Ukraine will gain sovereignty over a stretch of the Izmail-Odessa highway previously on Moldovan territory in exchange for Moldova's gaining access to a 430-meter stretch of land along the banks of the Danube River near the village of Giurgiulesti, where it intends to build an oil terminal, dpa reported. The villagers of Palanca, whose pastures will be now transferred to Ukraine, demonstrated in Chisinau against the agreement. The accord stipulates that the villagers will be allowed access to the pastures without using passports. The opposition Popular Party Christian Democratic accused the ruling Party of Moldovan Communists of "selling off national wealth" and "harming national interests." MS

    [21] BULGARIAN PARTIES REACT TO SIMEON'S DESIGNATION AS PREMIER

    Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) Chairwoman Ekaterina Mihailova on 12 July said the designation of former King Simeon II as his party's nominee for premier is "normal political logic...since he is the leader of the formation that has won the elections and received so much confidence from Bulgarian voters," BTA reported. Coalition for Bulgaria leader Georgi Parvanov also called the nomination "normal" and said the majority should "from now on seek a faster formation of the cabinet." Parvanov, who is also leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, said the new cabinet "should be a broadly based coalition, rather than an axis, least of all an axis between the National Movement Simeon II and the SDS." Kemal Eyrup, a deputy representing the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, said Simeon's decision to accept the premiership is "revolutionary" and proved that "what he has been telling Bulgarian voters is not empty talk." MS

    [C] END NOTE

    [22] There is no End Note today.

    13-07-01

    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 Saturday, 14 July 2001 - 8:46:07 UTC