*** Greetings from the Hungarian-American List ***
*** http://mineral.umd.edu/hungary/ ***
*** mailto: ***
SLOVAKIA ASKS U.S. FOR EXPLANATION. Premier Vladimir Meciar, speaking on
Slovak TV on 9 August, said his government has asked the U.S. State
Department whether the U.S. is changing its attitude toward the Slovak
government. He noted that just 14 days ago, the view was positive;
however, during his visit to the U.S., President Michal Kovac told
Slovak Radio on 8 August that U.S. representatives said Slovakia is not
maintaining the same pace toward democracy and reform as are Poland,
Hungary, and the Czech Republic (see OMRI Daily Digest, 9 August 1995).
Foreign Ministry State Secretary Josef Sestak on 9 August said that
Slovakia has sent a note to the U.S. embassy in Bratislava asking for
clarification of the U.S.'s attitude. Meanwhile, Kovac has come under
increasing attack from the government coalition. Speaking on Slovak TV,
Meciar called Kovac's statements "very unfortunate." Presidential
spokesman Vladimir Stefko said that Kovac was not interpreting the
"official" opinion of the U.S. government but rather the opinions of
high-ranking specialists within the U.S. administration, Pravda reported
on 10 August. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.
UPDATE ON SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S U.S. VISIT. Michal Kovac, meeting with top
representatives of the White House, the State Department, and the
Defense Department, identified three main reasons for political tension
in Slovakia: relations between the president and premier, between the
president and parliamentary majority, and between the coalition and
opposition. He also stressed the importance of solving problems between
the government, on the one hand, and trade unions, district
administrations, and universities, on the other. According to Kovac, the
coalition believes that "whoever wins the elections has the possibility
to proceed without regard for the opinions of the opposition," Pravda
reported on 10 August based on a fax sent to the Foreign Ministry by
Slovak Ambassador to the U.S. Branislav Lichardus. -- Sharon Fisher,
SAFETY OF LITHUANIA'S NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. The Lithuanian Energy
Ministry held a press conference on 9 August to respond to a recent U.S.
report stating that Ignalina was one of four nuclear power plants in
Eastern Europe that were even more dangerous than the Chornobyl
facility, RFE/RL reported. A Swedish nuclear expert noted that the U.S.
report did not accurately reflect the current situation at Ignalina
because it was written in May 1993 and did not take into account various
measures taken to improve Ignalina's safety. He said that once all these
measures have been taken--at a cost of $100 million--the safety of the
Ignalina plant will be comparable to that of atomic facilities in the
West. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.
CROATIA STOPS HUNGARIAN RAIL CARGO. The Croatian government has asked
the Hungarian State Railway (MAV) to halt all cargo shipments bound for
Rijeka, a port on Croatia's Adriatic coast, Reuters reported. A MAV
spokesman on 9 August said that the official reason given by the Croats
was "traffic overload."He commented that it is not clear whether the
request is in any way related to fighting in Krajina. Rijeka is the main
port for landlocked Hungary, having been actively developed by Hungary
during Habsburg times. According to the spokesman, MAV officials on 10
August will hold talks with their Croatian and Slovenian counterparts on
ending the cargo halt. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.
U.S. SAYS CROATIA NOT GUILTY OF "ETHNIC CLEANSING." Peter Galbraith,
influential U.S. ambassador to Croatia, rejected British and Serbian
charges that Zagreb is guilty of "ethnic cleansing." He told the BBC on
9 August that "ethnic cleansing is a practice supported by Belgrade and
carried out by Bosnian and Croatian Serbs, forcefully expelling local
inhabitants and using terror tactics." He added that the Croatian
military success could prove to be a positive step in resolving the
conflict through negotiations. A British journalist said that
international diplomacy has no new ideas anyway and that the problems
are being resolved by the military on the ground. A German editor added
that this is because the international community has no clout since it
has been unwilling to use force. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
CIA HAS EVIDENCE OF SERBIAN WAR CRIMES IN SREBRENICA. The VOA and The
New York Times on 10 August reported on disclosures by a top CIA
official and a State Department spokesman on the possible mass murder of
Muslims by Serbs following the fall of Srebrenica last month. One spy
photo apparently showed a field near a soccer stadium with hundreds or
thousands of Muslim men and boys. A second photo, taken a few days
later, showed the field empty but with the earth disturbed in a large
pattern recalling that of mass graves elsewhere. There are some 6,000
people from Srebrenica still unaccounted for. The American officials
said that incidents of human rights violations committed by the Croatian
or Bosnian forces "do not approach the scale or systematic nature" of
those of the Serbs. The State Department official noted that, following
the Croatian reconquest of Krajina, there have been "scattered cases of
human rights abuses" but "no reports of the kind of atrocities that
followed the fall of Srebrenica." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
ETHNIC GERMANS CRITICIZE ROMANIAN EDUCATION LAW. Paul Philippi, leader
of Romania's ethnic Germans, said that a new education law will result
in the publication of schoolbooks that gloss over the role of Germans in
Transylvanian history, Reuters reported on 9 August. Philippi heads the
German Forum, the main organization of the 100,000 or so ethnic Germans
still living in Romania after a massive exodus dating back to
Ceausescu's times. The new education law has also been attacked by
ethnic Hungarians in Romania, who say it limits mother-tongue
instruction and curtails cultural rights. Radio Bucharest on 9 August
reported that the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania has decided
to step up actions protesting the law. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.
BULGARIA CONSULTS GERMANS OVER NATIONAL STOCK EXCHANGE. Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister for Economic Development Rumen Gechev on 8 August
met with the general manager of the Frankfurt stock exchange to discuss
setting up a Bulgarian stock market, AFP reported the same day. The
Bulgarian government, which wants foreign assisitance in this task, has
also consulted with representatives of the Paris and Chicago stock
exchanges. Gechev said that "under equal conditions," Bulgaria prefers
to cooperate with a European partner. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
YELTSIN ON YUGOSLAV CONFLICT. In an interview with the Japanese
newspaper Nihon Keizai, carried by ITAR-TASS on 9 August, President
Yeltsin praised the activities of the UN peacekeepers in the former
Yugoslavia but expressed concern about recent decisions to deploy a
rapid-reaction force and simplify the procedures for using NATO air
power to support the peacekeepers. Yeltsin condemned the recent vote in
the U.S. Congress to ignore the UN arms embargo against the Bosnian
government, saying that the embargo should be tightened. Russia does not
favor the Serbs, Yeltsin claimed, but added that the accusations put
forward by the international war crimes tribunal against Bosnian Serb
leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic were "unjust" since the
conflict is a civil war in which nobody is either "right" or "guilty."
On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev released a
letter to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali that harshly
condemned the recent Croatian military offensive and claimed it had been
"indirectly encouraged from the capitals of a number of leading world
states." -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.
GULIZADE: PROTECT US FROM RUSSIA AND IRAN. A paper referring to Russia
as "the biggest enemy of Azerbaijan" was presented in Washington DC by
Vafa Gulizade, foreign policy adviser to the president of Azerbaijan,
Moskovskaya pravda reported on 9 August. The U.S. press described
Gulizade's report as "sensational" and "scandalous," according to the
paper. It noted that Gulizade said Iran is "spending vast sums" to
export fundamentalist Islam to Azerbaijan and is cooperating with Russia
to suppress Azerbaijan's independence. Gulizade was reported as arguing
that Russia is manipulating the newly independent states by playing one
off the other and views Azerbaijan as the main obstacle to exercising
control over the region because Baku has refused to accept the
stationing of Russian troops on its soil. His call for the U.S. and the
West in general to protect Azerbaijan from Russian and Iranian
influences, the paper reported, will likely "negatively affect" Russian-
Azerbaijani relations. Noting that 70% of Azerbaijan's exports go to
Russia and some 1.5-3 million Azerbaijanis live there, the paper argued
that "ordinary" people in Azerbaijan, as opposed to the present
government, favor drawing closer to Russia. The subtext of the article
contained a warning: it noted that the "Azeri community in Moscow"--
which includes pro-Russian alternatives to Azerbaijani President Heidar
Aliev--"strongly condemned" Gulizade's report. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI,
KAZAKHSTAN TO SELL URANIUM TO LIBYA. The government of Libya is prepared
to purchase uranium from Kazakhstan, AFP reported citing the official
Libyan news agency Jana on 9 August. No details of the agreement were
available. Libya was recently critical of what the country perceived as
secrecy surrounding the 600 kg of enriched uranium that the U.S.
purchased from Kazakhstan in 1994 and appealed to the United Nations for
the destruction of the material. The Libyan report did not specify how
the country would use the uranium. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.
[As of 12:00 CET]
[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Jan Cleave
Compiled by Victor Gomez
This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media
Research Institute, a Prague-based nonprofit organization.
Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
All rights reserved.
This message has been generated automatically. In case of errors, please,
contact the administrator of the Hungarian-American List.
If you prefer to receive this file by email, please, send a mail to
Thank you for reading the Hungarian-American List !