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Issue No. 185-186-- August 10th, 2000.
Contents :

1. Bosnia and Herzegovina: POLITICAL HEAT
By Radenko Udovicic

By Ivan Lozowy

By Ivlian Haindrava

By Goran Vezic

By Ylber Emra


7. Special Edition:  NEW AT TOL

Bosnia and Herzegovina: POLITICAL HEAT
                              By Radenko Udovicic

      Tropical heat in Bosnia and Herzegovina this summer is
closely followed by its political counterpart. The opposition victory
in some districts of the Federation B-H started processes that
were simply unimaginable during the rule of Party of Democratic
Action (SDA).
     There is more direct enforcement of the property
laws as well as the secularisation of the state in those
communities where there was a noticeable blurring of borders
between religion and everyday life. It was especially true in the
town of Maglaj in central Bosnia, which after the war became known
as a rigid Islamic community. That characteristic was much
influenced by the fact that in the village of Bocinja near this
town there are mujahedin from Arabian countries which fought on
the side of the Army of B-H during the war. Despite protests from the USA and
European countries, Bosniak authorities gave Bosnian citizenship
to the volunteers after the war and gave them the village where
Serbs lived before the fighting. In it mujahedin created
a community based on strict Islamic tradition. It was a
sociological, but also legal, discrepancy from the country where
it was installed, which at least on a formal level has a legal
system similar to Western Europe. The ruling SDA which gave
Bocinja to mujahedin as plunder of war had neither the energy nor
the desire to solve the issue of this village which caused Maglaj to be
avoided by foreign sponsors and investors. Maglaj citizens, made
poor, hence gave their votes to the opposition at the local
elections - Socialdemocrat party (SDP) and Party for B-H (SzBiH)
which made a radical political move. They decided to move out the
present population of Bocinje in order to start return of Serbs
and Croats into Maglaj. After some hints that mujahedins could use
force to oppose this intention, new government proclaimed the
state of emergency and called police to help gradual removal.
Also, Maglaj authorities decided to ban use of Arabian (islamic)
greetings in everyday public life of the district . Motive for
decision was constant looking down upon those who greeted (not
only in Maglaj) with "Good day" instead of "Selam Alejkjum". The
greeting, which has a secular character in Arabian countries, was
used in Bosnia exclusively as a Moslem greeting. Its use in public
life was therefore against the right of citizens of other
nationalities, as well as atheist Bosniaks, to use old Slav or
Bosnian greetings.
      Although this changes happened in only one town, they cross
over the local boundary. Maglaj is an example for other parts of
Bosnia and Herzegovina with similar problems. The town simply
removed the taboo from issue that were deemed untouchable. All
were made clear that laws are to be respected and that nobody can
keep the property of other, disregarding war merits. It was also
shown that national identity can be preserved without
"arabization" of Bosniaks. Maglaj certainly started the process of
political changes which will manifest in other Federation
districts with Bosniak majority.
      On the other hand, there are also tumultuous events in Serb
Republic, but in a negative sense for solving the crisis in
Bosnia. Almost at the same time with the case of Bocinje came the
escalation of violence in Bijeljina between Bosniak returnees and
Serbian refugees from Federation which are located in that part of
Serb Republic.
    Serbian refugees demonstrated against their removal from
pre-war Bosniak apartments and houses. Mass, mostly manipulated by
politicians, came into fight with Bosniak returnees which grew
into many physical assaults having as an outcome, due to
inadequate police reaction, demolition and even setting fire to
Bosniak homes. Thirty houses were rendered impossible for living,
national distrust escalated and the whole process of refugee
return which started in that part of country was returned back.
Similar Serbian demonstrations were also in Brcko, a city which
has legal position of a district, but ended with no physical
violence since the town is controlled by international community
which secured the protests in time. Both groups of demonstrators
had almost identical demands - build residential buildings for
Serbs refugees who live in the towns and thus free homes of the
Bosniak returnees.
    This attitude is for a long time supported by government as
well as the opposition in Serb Republic which leads to a
conclusion that demonstrations had a political edge. New is that
in the whole process Serb Republic no more rejects the right of
refugees to return to this entity, but it wants new homes for
Serbs who wish to stay there.
    Demonstrations were to stress this problem to international
community which is under demand to give financial aid for new
homes. In Brcko international representatives met halfway Serbian
demands. Recently there was an opening of new apartment block for
Serbs who left Bosniak and Croatian apartments, and there were
promises of new houses.
      Events in Maglaj as well as those in Bijeljina and Brcko
should be observed in the context of upcoming general elections in
November. Official election campaign didn't start yet, but all
political factors try to multiply current political problems in
order to discredit their political adversaries. Opposition in
Federation B-H used Maglaj as a propaganda of legalistic impetus
of the new authorities. Mujahedins in Bocinje were used as main
election argument in proving false promises of SDA, disrespect for
property laws and encouragement of islamic extremism. On the other
hand, SDA characterised last events in Maglaj as diminishing of
the basic human rights (ban of certain greetings) as well as a
hurried solution of refugee situation mostly directed against the
former fighters. Both arguments will find their supporters and it
is difficult to say at this moment who got the most political
profit out of the case.
      Similar situation is in the Serb Republic where the local
government accuses right-wing Serbian democratic party and Serbian
radical party of encouraging violence in Bijeljina. The two
parties answered that violence was caused by government's methods
of dealing with the refugee problem - fast evictions. What makes
this fight void is the fact that both authorities and the
opposition now hold the same views in refugee return which come to
freeing the apartments of others and building new at the same
      General elections on 15th November are very important for
all political currents in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Opposition in
Federation B-H with Bosniak majority tries to replicate good
election results on local level, when it took power in almost all
major towns, in cantonal, entity and state level. Both the
opposition and still ruling SDA are aware that if a Maglaj started
the process of radical change in political climate in Bosnia, then
change of government in higher levels will basically change events
in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each political event is thus used in
elections to show that one are "good" and the other "bad".
      However, different from Bosniak part of Federation, in
Croatian part there is nothing new, although there are some hints
that there will be changes also in Croatian political body. The
ruling Croatian democratic union (HDZ) had its sixth meeting in
Sarajevo at the beginning of July. Maybe the most important
conclusion to come out of this gathering was that HDZ "looks for
understanding and forgiveness for all errors it did during legal
and legitimate struggle of Croatian people to protect themselves".
HDZ said they were sorry to all the victim in, as was stressed
out, war that was imposed on them. Although it remained at its
position that Hague court was governed by political factors and
that international community tries to criminalize Croatians who
fought in the war and rejected accusations that Croatian defence
council was an aggressor in Bosnia, HDZ assembly went far to
distance itself from its "basic goals". President Ante Jelavic
even said that "Bosnian Croats will rely upon selves and their own
forces since it is a political lesson we need to learn". That was
inevitable answer to change of Croatian policy towards Bosnia and
Bosnian Croats, otherwise the party could disappear from political
     Yet, expected change in HDZ couldn't be radical. The party
couldn't cross out its frustrations overnight. The assembly showed
a kind of distrust towards supporters of radical change led by
former president of the self-proclaimed Croatian republic Herceg
Bosnia and present minister of foreign affairs Jadranko Prlic and
recently inaugurated vice-mayor of the town of Mostar Neven Tomic
who are labelled "Europeans" by their party colleagues. Both
officials harshly criticised two-faced policy of their party and
it is only a matter of time when they will found new, more
moderate Croatian party that will be more agreeable to
international community.
    In Serb Republic November elections are expected to be the
final fight between two opposed options - moderate led by the
prime minister Milorad Dodik and nationalist led by now
rejuvenated SDS. Current situation says that current prime
minister Dodik is bound to lose. His coalition "Sloga" broke apart
so that his government has barely support of 30 per cent of the
parliament. It remained in power due to insisting of the
international community not to create the crisis of government. On
the other hand, SDS had a huge success at the local elections, and
forecasts say it will be also the case at the general. Contrary to
Federation where political changes move towards the left, in Serb
Republic the trend is opposite - to the right. However, present
SDS was transformed and some highest officials of the party are
liberals who enjoy mild support of international community. There
are some international representatives who are announcing that
they will ask SDS to reject Radovan Karadzic and his ideology. In
return, SDS will be fully accepted within the international
community. In case this comes true, it will be political success
equal to change of government in the Federation B-H.

             By Ivan Lozowy

    It was bound to happen sooner or later.  Last December Ukraine
got its first reformist Prime Minister, the former Chairman of the
National Bank of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko.  How exactly this
happened remains a mystery, since the answer depends on what was
going on at the time in one man's head, that of President Leonid
Kuchma.  Perhaps the criticisms which Kuchma heard during the
presidential campaign last October, despite his administration's
best efforts to stifle them, got through.
    In any event, Yushchenko has been a blessing.  Upon his
appointment he immediately tackled one of the worst problems -
agriculture.  A series of measures finally privatized each and
every one of Ukraine's agro-relics, the kolhosps or collective
farms.  For the first time the government has been bringing
pension arrears down, rather than building them up.  In nine
months over 40 percent of the 1.2 billion hryvnia ($220 million
USD) pension debt had been paid off.  Yushchenko has promised that
the rest will be paid off within two months.
    The energy sector has already undergone sweeping changes under
the direction of Vice Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.  Various
schemes whereby private companies milked state-owned energy
producers, including barter schemes, letters of credit and
outright non-payment, have been shut down.  A new tax code
prepared by the government foresees one of the lowest tax rates in
Europe.  With the government's urging parliament has prepared a
revised budget code.
    The squeeze on government itself has been severe, which is a
good measure of the seriousness of Yushchenko's intentions.  A 30
percent across the board cut in government employees will be
followed by another 10 percent next year.  In addition, over
40,000 central government staff will be cut.
    All these government initiatives raise the question of how
long Yushchenko will stay in his post.  Since, only if he stays at
least a year or two will his reforms will have a chance to take
hold and lift Ukraine's moribund economy.  The question of how
Yushchenko was appointed gains particular significance when it
comes to deciphering his future.  For, in the end, it will be the
president who decides whether Yushchenko stays or goes.
    With his already impressive record it would seem ludicrous
that there should be any question of Yushchenko's removal.  Yet
that is far from the case.  It is entirely possible that
Yushchenko will be removed already this fall or next spring at the
latest.  The principal reason is that he stands in the way of
powerful, vested interests.  These interests can best be summed up
as "the clans."  The clans are taken to mean two groups.  The
first is the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), which is
not a party, but a huge business conglomerate headed by Dynamo
Kyiv president Hryhory Surkis and First Deputy Speaker of
parliament Viktor Medvedhcuk.  The second is the Democratic Union,
behind which stands Oleksandr Volkov.
    For the clans, Yushchenko is an acute embarassment.  For he
was appointed just when the SDPU(u) and the Democratic Union had
formed an alliance and their leaders gained the height of their
power thus far.  Tymoshenko's restructuring of the energy market
has hit upon one of the main sources of huge sums of money,
measuring in the billions of dollars, on which the SDPU(u) had
come to rely.  Agricultural reforms have hit on the main source of
income for the Democratic Union.
    The clans have hit back.  One of Ukraine's major TV stations,
Inter, controlled by SDPU(u) chieftan Oleksandr Zinchenko has
rained a barrage of criticism of Yushchenko's government.  Not a
trip takes place that is not characterized as "an unfortunate
failure."  People are more dissatisfied than ever with government
debts for pensions and salaries.  Polls show Yushchenko and his
government to be deeply unpopular and, indeed, not to be
conducting reforms at all.
    Even programs running on the First National TV channel have
joined in, criticizing Tymoshenko, Yushchenko and anyone connected
to the government.  Ironically, the First National TV channel is
completely state-owned and, as part of the executive branch,
directly subordinated to the Cabinet of Ministers headed by
Yushchenko.  Yet such formalities are of little consequence in
Ukraine, when a heavy-hitting oligarch like Oleksandr Volkov
decides to stimulate criticism of the government.  Corruption has
spread deep into the government hierarchy.
    Such unprecedented pressure on a Prime Minister and his
government would seem to leave Yushchenko little room for
maneuver.  Yet Yushchenko has breathing space in the form of one
year during which parliament may not vote no confidence in his
government following adoption of his program "Reforms for welfare"
this past March.  Most of the pressure is therefore indirectly
aimed at the President, who is being encouraged to re-think his
high estimate of Yushchenko.
    The reasons for Yushchenko's appointment will therefore play a
crucial role in what happens next.  Cynical tongues wag that
Yushchenko was appointed as a measure of last resort.  Having
borrowed and misspent their way into a huge pile of debt,
Ukraine's first seven governments brought the country to the edge
of total collapse.  The only rescue could come from without, in
the form of international assistance.  Yet, ironically, this may
be the reason international lending institutions have been quick
to embrace Yushchenko verbally, while holding back their deeds.
Ukraine has not received an additional penny in foreign assistance
since Yushchenko took over.  This may prolong his stay in office,
since his removal may close the door altogether.
    In the meantime, the clans are certain to increase pressure
this fall.  Unfortunately, Yushchenko's public relations is in
"stealth" mode and his reliance on Tymoshenko a serious liability.
Though her expertise in the energy sector and antagonism to the
clans are valuable, Tymoshenko represents Yushchenko's Achilles'
heel.  Her previous business association with Pavlo Lazarenko,
awaiting judgment on money laundering charges in the U.S., plus
the fact that at one point Tymoshenko helped put together, of all
things, a campaign to impeach President Kuchma, are, to put it
mildly, serious liabilities.
    Yet Yushchenko's holding on to Tymoshenko is a clever move.
Firstly, it helps to deflect criticism from himself.  Second, she
is being kept in reserve as a sacrificial lamb for when the
proverbial fan gets hit.  Last but not least she is doing a world
of good in limiting the insatiable appetites of the oligarchs and
their clans.  Yushchenko's real risk is that, by supporting
Tymoshenko unequivocally even in the face of repeated barbs from
the President himself, her downfall will be his downfall.
    As has been the case since independence, practically nothing
in the debates around the government's possible downfall touches
upon the interests of Ukraine's citizens.  Inter-personal and
inter-clan rivalry, scores to settle and the individual interests
of the key players are the primary motivating forces.  Hardly a
nod in the direction of the nation's welfare.  The only exception
is Yushchenko.  He really seems to believe that his task is to
improve the welfare of the common man.  Whether he gets a chance
to demonstrate his intentions depends largely on chance.  In
particular, the president, whose backers control a majority in
parliament, will, like the ceasars of old, have to decide whether
and when to give a thumbs down.  Unfortunately, in Ukraine the
dice keep on rolling.


              by Ivlian Haindrava

    "Russia has embarked on withdrawing its military equipment and assets from
the Georgian territory", said Valerij Manilov, the Deputy Chief of Staff of
the Russian Federation. All tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and other
military equipment deployed in the Russian military bases in Vaziani and
Gudauta will be transported by railway to Batumi, from where they will be
delivered by the military ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet to the
Russian seaports of Novorisijsk and Tuapse.
A certain section of excessive military equipment will be destroyed at the
site of the Tbilisi Tank Maintenance Plant. This process has already begun.
Thus, the limitation of Russia's military presence in Georgia is becoming
    The Transcaucasian Military District (TMD) used to be one of the most
powerful military districts throughout the former Soviet Union, as the
border with NATO lay in its territory. The TMD troops used to be recruited
and armed according to the standards and requirements of martial law. After
the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the fates of the Russian military
bases in South Caucasus were different. Azerbaijan, at the cost of
significant losses incurred during the conflict in Karabakh, finally got
rid of the Russian military presence. Armenia, on the contrary, having been
thankful to Russia because of pro-Armenian position of the latter during
the Armenian-Azeri conflict agreed to become a strategic partner of
Russia's and ratified the agreement authorizing the deployment of the
Russian military bases in its territory for the term of 25 years. Georgia
inherited from the former Soviet Union the following four Russian military
bases: in Gudauta (a town in Abkhazia - a runaway region bordering with the
Russian Federation, which de facto separated from Georgia as a result of
the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict in 1992-1993), Vaziani (a suburban area near
Tbilisi, the Georgian capital), Akhalkalaki (a region in the southern part
of Georgia dwelled mostly by ethnic Armenians), and Batumi (the capital of
the Ajara Autonomy). An attempt of the formalization of the legal status of
these military bases was taken in March 1995 when the defense ministers of
both nations signed a treaty on the Russian military bases, which should
have stayed in Georgia during the next 25 years. However, while
initializing this treaty, President Shevardnadze made the following written
note on the document: "Ratification of this treaty by the Georgian party
may only become possible after the restoration of Georgia's territorial
integrity and the settlement of the Abkhazian problem". To the extent that
this problem has not been settled so far, the treaty was never ratified and
Georgia took aim at the withdrawal of the Russian bases from its territory.
In November 1999, during the Istanbul Summit of OSCE, with the strong
political and diplomatic support from US, a Georgian-Russian Declaration
was signed, which became an official attachment to the Treaty of Reduction
of Conventional Weapons in Europe. According to this document, military
bases in Vaziani and Gudauta should have been liquidated by July 2001.  At
the same time, Russian-Georgian talks should have been initiated regarding
the withdrawing by 2003-2004 of the two other military bases.
     In April, Georgia and Russia launched negotiations on practical
implementation of the Istanbul agreements. In his speech at the opening
ceremony of the negotiations, which took place in Moscow, the Russian
Vice-Premier Ilia Klebanov expressed hope that both parties would be ready
to solve military problems constructively. According to the Protocol signed
in Moscow, the parties agreed that a final result of the reduction of the
Russian troops and armaments in Georgia should have been the full
liberation of the Georgian territory from the military presence of any
foreign country.
     On June 24, 2000, President Shevardnadze and Klebanov, who arrived in
Tbilisi with this particular purpose, discussed specific issues related to
the withdrawing of the Russian military bases from Georgia. According to
Klebanov, Russia was ready to implement all provisions of the Istanbul
agreements in due time and by July 1, 2001 would have withdrawn the Vaziani
base entirely. As to the Gudauta base, Klebanov said that they were
discussing the question of passing this base to the Russian peacekeepers
deployed in Abkhazia with the purpose of training and recovery of "blue
helmets". "At this particular moment this is the most rational and wise
decision", Klebanov said.
     According to President Shevardnadze, the Georgian leadership would not have
allowed that the irreversible process of withdrawing of the Russian
military bases and armaments from Georgia has any negative impact on
good-neighborly relations between the two nations. He evaluated the Tbilisi
round of the Georgian-Russian talks devoted to military problems as "normal
discussions free of any confrontation, even though passionate debates were
inevitable". (Revaz Adamia, the Chairman of Parliamentary Committee for
Defense and Security, said that Russia, contrary to the national interests
of Georgia, had insisted on the reserving of the Russian military bases in
Akhalkalaki and Batumi for a long period). At the same time, according to
Shevardnadze, the Istanbul agreements had to be implemented as appropriate,
as this would only support the growth of the Georgian people's confidence
in Russia. Shevardnadze said that the stay of the Russian military bases in
Georgia would block "to a certain extent" the development of neighborly
relations between the two countries. According to the Georgian president,
in the near future, the parties would embark on the preparation of an
agreement on the cooperation in military/technical spheres. It is
noteworthy that to date Russia is the only neighbor of Georgia with which
such an agreement has not been signed so far.
    The withdrawing of the Russian military bases from Georgia - a long dream
of the pro-western Georgian politicians - is connected with a number of
serious problems. The Russian military have always had a painful approach
to this issue. "The Russian military bases in Georgia is a factor of
stability of Georgia itself, like is the presence of the Russian
peacekeeping troops in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict", said
Leonid Ivashov, the Director of the Department for International Military
Cooperation of the Russian Defense Ministry, during his visit in Armenia in
May 2000. According to General Ivashov, Russia, of course, can not prevent
any country or NATO from pursuing their own policy, but "Russia will take
all necessary steps in order not to allow the shrinking of the present
level of security of Russia and its allies". According to Ivashov, the
presence of NATO in the territories of the former Soviet republics would be
unacceptable to Russia. Russia will never tolerate that the border with
NATO lies next to Sochi (a Russian resort town at the Black Sea coast
located not far from the Russian-Georgian border), Ivashov told the
Armenian TV. It's understandable that Russians can not give up easily for
example a strategically important airdrome in Vaziani. They have attempted
to convince the Georgian party that the airdrome is a separate site, which
is necessary for the maintenance of the Russian troops that are scheduled
to stay in Georgia for a while and thus should not be regarded in respect
with military bases. The Georgian party, in turn, has insisted that the
base and the airdrome comprise a whole that cannot be divided and that the
removal of the military base must be accompanied by the withdrawal of the
airdrome staff. At the same time, Georgia has expressed readiness to assume
the airdrome administrative functions, including for the benefit of the
Russian military, until a last Russian troop leaves the Georgian territory.
As to the Gudauta base, some predictable difficulties appear in this
respect. There, apart from the regular troops, the Russian peacekeepers
have been deployed, which entered the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zone in
1994. Tbilisi has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the Russian
peacekeepers accusing them of the backing of the Abkhazs. "By liquidating
the Gudauta base Tbilisi is trying to kill two birds with one stone û to
reduce the Russian military presence in its territory and to prepare soil
for the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeepers", says Kommersant, an
influential Russian newspaper.
     Essentially strict is the position of the Abkhaz authorities. A senior
Russian Foreign Ministry official Aleksei Borodavkin met in Sukhumi
(capital city of Abkhazia) on 5 August Abkhazian leadership to discuss the
planned closure of the base at Gudauta. Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergei
Shamba said that while Russia should comply with its commitment under an
agreement signed last November in Istanbul to reduce its military hardware
in Georgia, Abkhazia's security must be taken into consideration. "A threat
of new armed conflict with the Georgian army is still in place, for which
reason all weapons and military equipment deployed in the Gudauta base
should be left to the Abkhazian military. Abkhazia can avail itself of all
required means, inclusive of force, not to allow the withdrawal of the
Russian military equipment from the Gudauta base" û Shamba stressed. Abkhaz
Defense Minister Vladimir Mikanba said that the Abkhaz leadership would not
permit the withdrawal of Russian arms from Gudauta until Shevardnadze and
Ardzinba have signed an agreement on security and the non-resumption of
hostilities. Generally speaking Sukhumi has never disguised that its main
task is not to allow the withdrawal of the Russian weapons. Tamaz
Nadareishvili, the Chairman of the Abkhazian Supreme Council in exile, in
turn, considers that "until the Gudauta base stays under the control of
those who occupied Abkhazia and until the occupants are withdrawn from
Abkhazia, there will be no reason for a belief that Abkhazia will
reintegrate with Georgia."
      Although the liquidation of the Russian military bases deployed in
Akhalkalaki and Batumi is scheduled for the second phase of the withdrawal
of the Russian troops from Georgia (2003-2004) and negotiations should
begin in the turn of the year, difficulties can not be avoided in this
respect too. The inhabitants of the town of Akhalkalaki and surrounding
villages, the overwhelming majority of which are ethnic Armenians, do not
support the idea of the withdrawal of the Russian military base. The reason
is very simple: many of those inhabitants work for the base and get
salaries. Those who provide services on a contractual basis, earn even
more. So, the population of Akhalkalaki region believes that with the
departure of the Russians they will be deprived of the only source of
     To this extent, David Darchaishvili, the Director of the Georgian Center
for Research of Security and the Military-Public Relations, did not exclude
the possibility that because of social hardships existing throughout the
country and unstable situation in this particular region, the withdrawing
of the Russian base from Akhalkalaki might be delayed. Furthermore,
according to Darchiashvili, in connection with the withdrawal of the
Russian troops the situation in Akhalkalaki may deteriorate significantly.
Melik Raisyan, a member of the Georgian Parliament from this district says
that the Akhalkalaki base is the main source of incomes for a half of all
inhabitants of the Akhalkalaki district (76,000 people), a part of whom
work at the base and the other part provide different services. In
addition, according to Raisyan, the Armenians residing in this district,
who constitute 90 per cent of all inhabitants, still remember the Turkish
pogroms of 1920s and consider that the Russian troops are the only
potential protectors of theirs. He believes that the Georgian border guards
control the Turkish border just symbolically and the Armenian population of
the Akhalkalaki district feels safe only with the presence of the Russian
military base.
      The leader of Ajara Autonomous Republic Aslan Abashidze for his part
demanded that Georgian-Russian negotiations on withdrawal of the Batumi
base be held with participation of representative of Ajara authorities.
Otherwise, he threatened during the briefing on August 7, the
transportation of armaments through Ajara territory may not continue in the
same unimpeded way as it took place for the first time.
Lastly, there were some problems with the funding of a quite costly
endeavor of the withdrawing of armaments and military equipment. Georgia, a
country that faces deepest financial crisis can not afford money to fund
such operations. Russia, in turn, also complained of the lack of required
funds. As always in such situations the West extended a helping hand. The
US Senate decided to assign US $10,000,000 to assist Russia in withdrawing
its military bases from Georgia. Charles Gatry, the Chief of Staff of UK,
whose official visit in Georgia coincided with the beginning of the process
of withdrawal (and such a coincidence, obviously, was not accidental),
informed that his country assigned for this purpose L100,000.
On August 5, 2000, in the presence of international observers from USA, UK
and Norway the first trainload with the Russian military equipment departed
from Vaziani. As to the claim of the Georgian party that Georgia has a
legitimate right to receive a certain part of the Black Sea Fleet (meaning
40 military ships and two submarines which used to be based in the Georgian
port of Poti), as well as a compensation for the military equipment and
weapons, which were illegitimately withdrawn from Georgia in 1991-1992 and
the cost of which, according to some estimates, exceeds US $8 billions,
still remains to be neglected.

              By Goran Vezic

      Barely seven months after the establishment of the new Croatian
government after the Tudjman era, the ruling coalition's gravest crisis
is at hand. There is now a fierce clash - on one side
are president Stipe Mesic and prime minister Ivica Racan, and on
the other side Drazen Budisa, the former presidential candidate who
was defeated in the presidential elections at the beginning of
this year. Budisa is president of the Croatian Sociol Liberal Party,
which, together with Racan's Social Democrats has three quarters
of the government's ministers as well as half the representatives in
the parliament, chosen on joint election lists. As in many
other cases of internal struggles, this time the center
of the dispute is the International Tribunal for war crimes in
ex-Yugoslavia in Hague (ICTY). The issue of cooperation with the
court in the Hague is one of the main points that brought the former
opposition to power. Unlike Tudjman's Croatian
Democratic Union (CDU), the opposition leaders promised to cooperate
with the Hague Court and thus put an end to international
isolation of Croatia. They suceeded and it is the biggest success
of the new Croatian government. Globus, Croatian weekly
newspapers that are close to the ruling coalition dominated by
Budisa's liberals and Racan's sociademocrats, wrote last week
that the Hague prepares indictment against commander of the
Croatian Army general Petar Stipetic and due to his alleged
crimes during the war in Croatia. The general, who was elected to
the office of army chief after democratic opposition came into
power, was never before mentioned in the context of possible
Croatian war criminals. On the contrary, Stipetic, who was
general in the former Yugoslav People's Army and fled to Croatian
side when the war began, was known as an honest warrior which was
acknowledged even by the enemy, defeated Serbian army. Stipetic
himself along with majority of Croatian public were surprised and
shocked with the information published in Globus. The newspapers
claimed that chief prosecutor of the ICTY Carla Del Ponte
informed Croatian president Mesic and prime minister Racan about
the indictment against Stipetic during her stay in Zagreb in May
this year. Mesic and Racan said they weren't informed about it,
while Budisa enigmatically announced that he knew something about
it all. He finally said Globus' information was correct in
Tuesday, just when Mesic and Racan were officialy visiting
Washington. And so the new Croatian scandal with dire
consequences began... Mesic and Racan rejected Budisa's claims
from Washington, but Budisa stubbornly repeated them... The lie
is the usual element of the politics, but when coalition partners
remain at their contary stands on the same subject which is very
sensitive for Croatian public, one should exect that their
friendship will come to an end. The dispute is about very
important issue of whether political top hides from the army
chief that he will end in the Hague Court or not, that is whether
the leader of the second largest Croatian party manipulates in
such a crude way with the army commander, who is otherwise a
person that doesn't belong to any party, but is close to
socialdemocrats, and at the same time defames president and prime
minister presenting them as liars. Slow break-apart of the
political marriage between Racan and Budisa was clear to Croatian
auditorium already on 7th February in evening, when during the
official pronouncement of results of presidential elections Racan
wasn't at the side of Budisa, the candidate supported by Racan's
socialdemocrats, who lost. The winner was Stipe Mesic, Tudjman's
dissident who to the post of Croatian president came from a small
Croatian People's Party. Croatian voters, tired first of decades
long communist monopoly and then of ten years of Tudjman's
autocratic rule, reacted instinctively and elected Mesic, not
allowing a new monopoly divided between Racan and Budisa where
one would be prime minister and another president of the state in
a still half-presidential system of government. Budisa was hit
hard with his new political defeat. After presidential elections
he, for some time, sustained from the political life and was
pleased with only his seat in Croatian parliament. When Stipe
Mesic spoke in parliament on 30th May, Croatian independence day,
Budisa was demonstratively absent. Defeat from Mesic finally made
it clear to him that he will never become Croatian president. He
tried it once before, in 1992, but was beaten by then charismatic
Franjo Tudjman- In return, some political rumours went, Tudjman
who appreciated Budisa although Budisa belonged to opposition
(sometimes formal, sometimes real), chose him as his immediate
successor. During the last election campaign some media said for
this former nationalist student leader - punished by 4 years in
prison at the beginning of the seventies - that already his high
school professors had said that he would become a president.
Which he believed to be true. Today it is obvious that
never-to-be Croatian president isn't satisfied with his outsider
role. First he launched proposals to enter into Racan's
government which brought first serious disputes between him and
Croatian prime minister. According to a good Croatian custom,
they made peace far from the public, during the private lunch in
Budisa's countryside house. Perhaps, maybe only on the surface,
for public. But today things have gone too far - brotherhood of
the two most powerful Croatian parties broke between their
leaders. One of them is seriously lying about serious issues and
public will never forgive them, and they couldn't forget each
other even if they wanted to... Budisa never dismissed, only
softened, his hard nationalist bias. Today when Tudjman's party
Croatian democratic union is destroyed and pushed to margin after
his death, Budisa can emerge as the leader of a new Croatian
moderate nationalist right that would, of course, have post-war,
more civilized attitude than Tudjman's. Budisa sees his
opportunity there and he is in a hurry to grab it. Possible
collapse of the ruling coalition and its defamation is not a big
price for Budisa's ambitions an therefore hard standpoint of
Mesic and Racan about the case of general Stipetic is all but not
favorable to Budisa - the collapse will come quicker... Besides,
Budisa's liberals were never ideologically close to Racan's
socialdemocrats - they were united only by political
circumstances and realism as the best glue for their coalition...
But Budisa perhaps doesn't take into account that his party
already suffered division once and that it will do it again,
because of him. HSLS was divided into two parts before - into
Budisa's supporters who were in favor of forming coalitions with
Tudjman's party and into those who were against it. Tomorrow will
maybe itself, happen the same - HSLS will fall apart and there
will be those who will further support coalition with SDP and
those that would be against it. The latter will, of course, be
joined by right fractions of some centrist parties or centrists
from some right parties, but that would not be enough for Budisa
to have a significant influence in the Croatian parliament. In
the case that the government eventually losed parliamentary
support, that would stop Croatia on its already slow process of
its de-Tudjmanization, opening to the world and tries of economic
reconvalescence. During the possible early elections, if the
parliament disbanded itself, Budisa could hardly come t o
Croatian political top, but Croatia would, after a lost decade,
lose more precious months for its consolidation. Most probably,
Budisa will be rememered in modern Croatian political history as
a loser who was the most honorable when he was losing the most.
Drazen Budisa was sentenced to four years in prison when he was
approximately twenty years old, but wrote not one plea for


            By Ylber Emra

      In Kosovo, a formally Yugoslav province that has now been governed
by the UN for over a year, the first census of Kosovar Albanians was recently
carried out under the sponsorship of  the OSCE. It is the first census in 15
years. Kosovar Albanians, who boycotted the central
government in Belgrade during the last decade, now agreed to be
listed, in order to be able to participate at the local elections
which are scheduled for October this year, under international
supervision. The census started on April 28th, and finished  on
July 19th. Ten years ago Albanians started a mass boycott against
the central authorities, since the present Yugoslav president Slobodan
Milosevic came into power. Among other methods of boycott, they refused to be listed
in order to create a distance between themselves and the regime which
through direct repression had tried to suppress the decades old
desire of the Albanian majority  for independence.
OSCE representatives were satisfied with the turnover and
registration for the voters' registers, and said that more than a
million people living in the region were listed. The final and
precise results will be known, as was said, when additional
100,000 requests for registration are checked. The mission is
going through those requests since the persons didn't have all
necessary documents to make full request. The register is
partially sucessful since Serbs boycotted OSCE's list. Serbs were
counting for slightly below ten per cent of the population before
last year's NATO air strikes in FR Yugoslavia. Less than 500
Serbs were reigstered, and they made slightly over quarter
million in mid last year, acording to international government in
the province. The same sources say that there is now less than
100,000 Serbs in the province, and the total population is
estimated at 1.800,000 and .1.900,000. Most of the Romes weren't
listed, too, and there were 65,000 of them before the NATO interv
ention. Same is with Turks who came to 20,000 as well as 40,000
out of 100,000 Moslems. Approximately 40,000 Moslems from Kosovo
had to leave the province due to waves of violence. According to
information of the international government, there is about 85
percent of the registered and listed Kosovar population. Acording
to the same sources, there is now between 4,5 and  5 per cent of
non-Albanian population living in Kosovo.
      After NATO intervenion and establishment of the international
rule, about 800,000  Albanians who were exiled during the NATO
air strikes returned home after Yugoslav army and Serbian police
forcs retreated. That was also one of the intervention goals.
However, an unknown number of Albanians from the North of Albania
came into province as well as their brethren from western parts
of the neighbouring, ex-Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, where
third of population are Albanians.
Albanian sources claim that Serbian forces during 78 days of
intense bombardment of FRY killed at least 10,000 Albanians which
is refuted by the Serbian authorities. In Kosovo graves that are
now investaigaed by international organizations there has been
located  2,180 Albanian bodies so far. About 30 per cent of the
known graves have been investigated. This spring continues the
investigation conducted by experts of the International crime
tribunal for war crimes comitted in the ex-yugoslavia (ICTY).
According to the ICTY data, from 1998 to mid-May 2000  2,700
Albanians disappeared along with 400 Serbs and more than 100
Romes and other non-Albanians. Out of the total nmber of those
who disappeared, to ICTY came information about 2,018 captured by
Serbian forces or other Serbian formations and 370 persons
kidnapped by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). There are no
information on who kidnapped 980 persons. Serbian sources claim
that in the last year about 250,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians
were forced to leave, tens of thousand houses were burned and
looted and over 80 churches and monasteries were destroyed.
According to the same sources, about 900 Serbs were murdered,
1200 kidnapped. Even Albanians weren't spared of the violence
that is organized by armed bands, often connected with the local
clans and mafia.  KFOR says that in the last year approximately
400 Albanians were killed and another 400 simply disappeared.
Nothing is known about what happened to both kidnapped Albanians
and Serbs.
      Kosovar Albanians, after ten years of, according to them forced
and according to Serbian authorities willed isolation from
political scene, took over all Kosovar institutions after arrival
of international contigent. Return of 800,000 previously exiled
Kosovar Albanians, arrival of many people from northern Albania
and leave of all elements of ten-year old Serbian rule have
created all conditions from majority Albanian population to
address iternational community with the request for proclamation
of independence on the territory of the former Serbian povince.
Return of all political leaders of Kosovar Albanians, especially
president of the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo Ibrahim Rugova and
political leader of the KLA Hasim Taqi meant start of Albanian
political domination which resulted in Albanian control 9of the
natural resources, creation of the parallel power institutions
and exile of non-Albanian population. Under pressure of
international community, Albanians were forced to abbandon the
idea of furthering the institution they themselves have founded
and develoand had to turn to organising parties and preparing for
the elections that sould be held by the end of the year. The most
impotant political force in Kosovo, Rugova's Democratic alliance
of Kosovo (DAK) didn't support KLA before the escalation of
violence in the provine and therefore started to lose its
credibilit during the air strikes. Modrate Rugova had to adopt
more nationalist words, usual for KLA members, to return his lost
influence. At this point, the mainpolitical opponent of DAK is
Taqi and his Democratic party of Kosovo. Moderate attitude of the
former KLA leader and his recent condemnaion of the violence over
minority nations seems to be beginning of the election campaign,
but in the borders set by international representatives. At the
same time, oservers in Pristina say that Taqi's influence is
mostly limited to the city itself, controlled by the former KLA
members. Some international polls show that Rugova's rating is
now on the rise, that almot half Albanians support him, while
Taqi has the support of 20 per cent. Somewhat smaller influence
is wielded by radical United democratic movement headed by Redzep
Chosje, very close to Taqi, and the newly formed Alliance for the
future of Kosovo. The Alliance is formally led by the former
regional KLA commander Ramus Hajradinaj but is dominated by the
former communist official Mahmut Bakali. The party, wroblems,hse
rolhich dominates two most important regions in Kosovo - towns of
Podujevo near the Serbian border and Djakovica near the border
with Albania could in the future be an important political
element in Kosovo. Unclear political situation among Kosovar
Albanian was also aused by the international community which
couldn't cope with Kosovar problems, especially violence, and
thus created a rather "sick" situation where political importance
of the local factors is measured by the number of armed
supporters. Last week saw rise of violence among Albanians as the
election campaign began. Most victims are supporters of Rugova,
and recently Ramus Hajradinaj, one of the closest Taqi's
supporters, was heavily wounded under still unknown
circumstances. His political influence is significant.
International government, aware of those problems, issued a
public warning to all parties who are participating at the local
elections, to respect the minimum of prescribed political
tolerance and to immediately stop the violence over their
political oponents.
      Moderate leaders of the Kosovar Albanians now face th problem of
how to prevent  violence against non-Albanians of whom less and
less remain, and how to prevent present Albanian quarels from
turning into open and mass conflict, which will force
international armed forces, KFOR, to intervene. Representatives
of those parties are aware that they are further from the
international recognition of independence if for example last 265
Serbs leave Pristina out of them 49,000 there was until the June
1999, when Belgrade had total control over Kosovo.

      By Peter KARABOEV
      On 4 July the Bulgarian government made public for the first
time The Annual National Security Report for 1999. One of its aims
was at least to initiate political and public debate on this
subject. At the end of July the report was debated in the
Parliament. but instead of constructive "pro" and "contra"
arguments MPs preferred their favorite battlefield - ideology.
     In the end the gap between the ruling center-right party the Union of
Democratic Forces (UDF) and the former communists from the Bulgarian
Socialist Party (BSP) remained wide. The first was too much
submerged in its comfortable self-confidence and stable majority
in the Parliament. The second was unable to offer a reasonable
alternative national security concept.
     But why should this event be interesting for outsiders? At
least because it was a countdown of Bulgarian foreign and security
policy one year after Kosovo crisis. And because it sounded like
an alarm bell for eventual incoming vision deficit for Bulgaria's
role in Europe and in the region.
    The Annual National Security Report for 1999 (ANSR-99) was the
first of its kind after 1989. Dozens of pages covered wide range
of Government acts mainly in connection with the events
surrounding last year bombing in neighboring Yugoslavia. The acts
of the Parliament and the President - the other major foreign and
security policy institutions - were not mentioned in the text
because it was considered inappropriate executive power branch to
comment how the others behaved.
    All decision taken at the time of Kosovo crisis were approved
in the Parliament by a special laws and it was supposed that the
same pro-Western majority will confirm ANSR-99 as a sum of its
policy during 1999. And it happened exactly like this. The
opposition National Salvation Union (loose coalition around the
main party of Bulgarian ethnic Turks - Movement for Rights and
Freedoms) wanted "development of Bulgarian ethnic model" to be
included among the ANSR-99 priorities. And they got it. The
opposition Bulgarian Euroleft (small and marginal center-left
party pretending to represent modern social democracy a-la Tony
Blair) wanted as priority "further improvement of sustainable
economic growth and better quality of life". And they got it. This
way the attention was focused on BSP reaction. And - without
surprise - they were too weak to offer anything reasonable.
According to them the only positive thing was the existence of
report and nothing more. Their arguments against it were consumed
even before the debate in the Parliament - during discussions of
the draft ANSR-99 in parliament foreign policy and security
committees. At the session they tried to shift the attention to
the loose term of "social security", to unemployment, to broken
agriculture. But it wasn't clear how exactly this is part of the
"core" national security factors. There was nothing new in their
call for revision of Bulgarian-Russian relations. And it was quite
strange to hear from BSP leader George Parvanov that "a country
needs an army that it needs, not an army that it can allow itself
to finance". Minister of Defense Bojko Noev reacted with a promise
that in September BSP will have in details MoD report on army
readiness and capability.
      At the end of debate Prime Minister Ivan Kostov said that he
is satisfied with the result. The debate didn't happened so this
means that there are no different national security concepts, he
said. There is a "values" difference - what the ruling coalition
and the opposition understands as a human rights and ethnic
tolerance. Debate in July 2000 was the same as the one for
normalisation of relations with Macedonia, the one for Council of
Europe Minority rights Convention and the one for Kosovo crisis,
Kostov said.
     "Bulgaria is in unique historical situation. The whole of
Southeastern Europe consumes security and needs NATO, EU or UN.
And Bulgaria is the only one with political and economic
stability. This gives us unique opportunity to define our national
interest and national cause as European state", Kostov said
infront on National TV cameras.
     Back to the ANSR-99, its questionable that the general public
should be engaged in national security debate. Early in July the
leading national foreign and security policy analysts tried to
prevent the following path of events. They explained that  this is
a field of "stratospheric" analysis for people with high amount of
"special" information - something completely unaccesible for the
"everyday" Bulgarian. The common citizens should be informed, but
you shouldn't expect from them to have a "high expert" opinion.
And because of a lack of political consensus on national security
the same citizens are in fact quite confused. They are feeded with
different information from certain party headquarters and can't
define what is the exact thing that national security can't live
     The ruling party proudly declared that ANSR-99 can be read by
everyone in Internet. But they didn't say how much of Bulgarians
with averige 60 USD sallary can afford to by a computer and
Internet access. And how many of them will spend hours reading
dozens of ANSR-99 pages with full text of certain laws and
statistics as appendix to them.
     The quality of ANSR-99 was considered to be "as usual" - too
much facts and too few analysis, too much talking on foreign
factors and too little on domestic ones. There was only a short
sketch of information on international terrorism, crossborder
crimes and separatist groups. Which was pretty strange for a
country lying on routes of Balkan drugs and terrorism traffic and
"flesh trade" with immigrants and prostitutes. At the same time
the text declares that Bulgaria is in the periphery of these
processes and that there is no direct danger for Bulgaria stemming
from them.
    The main point, coming from analysts, was that the report was
"a try" to put the country in the strategic environment of the
region. There is still a stream of Balkan initiatives coming from
the West. At the same time there is a feeling of "authentic
tiredness" of the region. Southeastern Europe is still in the
West's agenda but year after year there is no political result to
justify the long-term stay in this agenda. The West is tired from
engagements on the Balkans, from the low achievements of these
engagements. Bosnia, for example, was flooded with billions of
dollars only to produce 5 years later a status of no-war, not of
stable and constructive peace. Slobodan Milosevic is still in
Belgrade year after Kosovo war and in Kosovo itself there is a
chaos and tension. The western taxpayeres can agree to pour money
in the region for humanitarian purpose, but it can't go on
forever. Balkans are crisis region different from Middle East
where one can work and spend billions of dollars for decades.
There is no oil on Balkans and its strategic importance is a
history. Land and sea links are of little importance in the age of
information and air war. And Russia is no more "equal" adversary
in the region. Balkans can't be left on their on because they can
still radiate waves of emigrants and insecurity into Western
Europe, especially to Germany and Italy. That's why in the years
to come there will be much of work for crisis containment. And
it's important on which side of the barricade Bulgaria will be.
Everyone prefers the crisis belt to be around Pristina-Belgrade
axis. If one of the "belt-states" drops out, than the new "cordon
sanitaire" will be not on the Balkans but in Central Europe -
Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia. And these states will get
the benefits and profit for this role. The question who will
qualify for the status of belt-state will be a hot one for the
next 12 moths. If this October a new left-wing Government and
President comes to power in Romania and if in the spring 2001 a
loose coalition Government is formed in Bulgaria (without clear
responsibilities and foreign policy priorities) there is a great
possibility that these two states will drop out from the belt.
      In this context Bulgaria's national security should be
discussed in the terms of how Sofia can participate in crisis
containment and control. This is not a comfortable position, but
it's the only profitable one at the moment. In year 2000 from
"front state" is expected not to send its army in "others war",
but rather to be stable enough to prevent the conflict from
radiating in a wider area from its epicenter. The state that can
guard its borders, improve its economy and offer clear, simple and
reasonable strategy for its security and future.
     This is the point why the debate around ANSR-99 was so
important for the region. The problem is that the final result is
not so encouraging - in Bulgaria there is still no consensus
midfield, no loyal opposition and stable political system.
     This should be radiated outside the country through the
"silent" diplomacy - silent as tools, but public as practice.
Which is not the case. Three years after Madrid-97 NATO Summit
Bulgarian pro-NATO policy is waning and "surfing" on the surface
of the problem. Privately, Foreign Ministry is waiting for result
from Presidential elections in the USA this November. At the same
time you can hear calls Bulgaria to preparitself to accept new
NATO enlargement in 2002 with other countries or with only one and
it wouldn't be Bulgaria.
    Sofia is NATO partner in its regional initiatives, but this
way it risks in long term perspective to be left behind NATO's
strategic horizon when Balkan crisis is over.

Special Edition : NEW AT TOL
    Transitions Online (TOL) is the leading
Internet magazine covering Central and Eastern Europe, the
Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. If you aren't already a
member, fill out our registration form at
to receive your free two-month trial membership. If you'd like to become a TOL member
right away, go to And if you're a
citizen of a post-communist country, FREE annual memberships are
still available at

    In an ongoing effort to bring our readers the best and most
significant news from the region, we have revamped our Week in
Review section to include the TOP 10 stories from the 28 countries
TOL covers. Fewer in number but more in-depth, these stories will
offer readers a sharper, filtered look at post-communist countries
in transition.
Opposition Still Split in Yugoslavia
Monitors Likely To Boycott Elections in Belarus
Lithuanians Race to Confess KGB Past
"Buggate" Scandalizes Bulgaria
UN Says Ukraine, Bulgaria Selling Arms to Sierra Leone
Armenian Government Closes Parliament Massacre Case
Latvia Drops Pedophilia Case Against Top Officials
Second Post-Communist President Takes Oath in Hungary
Change in Turkmen Foreign Ministry Could Signal Policy Shift
Azeri Opposition Parties Join Forces

Our Take: Yugoslavia: Coffee and Conspiracy Theories
A TOL editorial

FEATURE: Between a Seismic Rock and a Hard Place
by Tor Harald Monsen and Seymur Selimov

Azerbaijan seems to have only one major weapon to secure independence from
its bigger neighbors--carbonates. Oil and gas have become the cornerstone
not only of the country's economic destiny, but of its political fate as
well. Deciding who to let in on what has been called "the deal of the
century," Baku faces some tough choices ahead. The piece is accompanied by
a sidebar, by Tor Harald Monsen, looking at the strengthening ties between
Turkic nations.

FEATURE: Putin's Heavenly Manna
by Ara Tadevosyan

If there is a race to be won in this century in Central Asia and the
Caucasus, it is the race to control oil and gas exploitation and
transportation and to secure influence. So far, Vladimir Putin's Russia is
several strides ahead of the United States. The Russian president's Blue
Stream gas pipeline is nearly completed; the U.S.-backed Transcaspian gas
pipeline hasn't left the starting blocks. The United States, when all is
said and done, has only Turkey.

IN FOCUS: Tennis Racket
by Rustam Temurov and Saidazim Gaziev

Rackets are better than rockets, or at least that's what Uzbek President
Islam Karimov likes to say about his country's annual President's Cup
tennis tournament. Judging by the response in Tashkent each September, he's
not alone in thinking that tennis can bring a good deal of tourism
revenues, not to mention pride and international fame, to this struggling
Central Asian state.

FEATURE: The Catch-22 of Russian Justice
by Zaira Magomedova

Former Soviet dissident Vazif Meilanov is the first, and probably the last
for a while, to be compensated for moral and physical damages inflicted
during his labor camp internment in the 1980s. His fight for justice has
revealed legal inconsistencies and a government reluctant to compensate
damage done by Soviet persecution.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Too Much Press Freedom

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has never been quite sure how to deal
with a free media. Ever since the prime minister performed dismally in 1994
elections, he has had it in for the press, which he accuses of "hostile"
coverage. Or for being too liberal, too socialist, under the control of
murky forces from the past, or just for being downright rude. In June,
Orban appeared on the predominantly right-wing Vasarnapi Ujsag program,
where he expressed his views on media issues.

BOOKS: Behind the Scenes of Hungary's Transition
Andras Pap reviews "A lehetosegek kenyszere (The Obligation of
Possibilities)" by Ferenc Koszeg

The seemingly unedited and unsorted collection of short essays is a
peculiar literary genre. The author's opinions and intellectual responses
to various subjects reveals both the mosaics of the author's cognitive map,
as well as an authentic chronicle of the scrutinized historical period.
What makes Ferenc Koszeg's collection remarkable is the rare opportunity to
relive historical moments of the past 15 years in Hungary, through the eyes
of a credible, morally authoritative insider.

The following article is one of TOL's Annual Surveys for 1999: exclusive
overviews of individual countries in the region written for TOL by top
local and Western analysts and edited by regional specialist Professor
Peter Rutland of Wesleyan University. These valuable resources follow the
fine tradition established by the OMRI/East-West Institute Annual Surveys.
Both sets of reports, old and new, can be found in our expanded Country
Files <> along with links and maps for the 28
countries in the post-communist world.

Armenia 1999: Under Fire
by Robert Krikorian

The year ended on a bitter and shocking note for Armenia: the 27 October
assassination in the National Assembly of Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian,
Parliamentary Speaker Karen Demirchian, and several other high-ranking
government officials. Despite that tremendous blow to Armenian statehood,
the state and government did not collapse, but instead withstood the shock
and avoided a slide into domestic chaos.