Issue No. 243. - October 15,  2001.

            By Ylber Emra

            By Ulvi Hakimov
3.Romania/Moldavia : DEEPENING CRISIS
            By Angela Magherusan

 4. Special addition : NEW AT TOL

    By Ylber Emra

    Independence of Kosovo, in the various forms and details that are
proposed for achieving that goal, is the basic election message of all
important political parties of Kosovar Albanians at the eve of
first free general elections in this former Yugoslav province
that has been under international political and military patronage
since summer 1999.
    International government, established 28 months ago after NATO
air strikes against FR Yugoslavia which lasted for almost two and
a half months, is working hard to make possible the first free and
democratic elections in that province where Albanians make a
significant majority of the population.
    After local elections held on October 2000, these elections
represent a great test for international organizations in Kosovo
(UNMIK, OSCE and KFOR) and also a true test of political maturity
and democratization among Kosovar Albanians, said one high-ranking
UNMIK official who spoke on condition of anonimity.
    The campaign officialy started on 3rd October, after months of
political preparations and after UNMIK chief Hans Hekerup passed
Constitutional Framework of Kosovo as the highest legal document.
Also, the international community waited for the registration of Serbs
in Kosovo as well as those people who fled the province after the
arrival of international organizations.
    Approximately 1,2 million voters will participate at the
elections, 83 per cent of them being Albanians as the most
numerous ethnic group. Around 180,000 Serbs who boycotted last year's
local elections have registered. There are also tens of thousands of
Moslems, Turks and Romas.
    The main political struggle will be fought, just like last year,
between the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo (DSK) led by politically
moderate Rugova; the Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) led by Hasim
Taqi and  the Alliance for Kosovo's future (AAK) headed by Ramush
Haradinaj, former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
Prior to the arrival of international troops in Kosovo, KLA was for
year and a half in constant fighting with Yugoslav forces, sometimes
with greater, sometimes smaller intensity.
    The Kosovar election system guarantees Serbian minority and other
ethnic grops (Turks, Moslems, Romas and others) a minimum of 10
per cent out of 120 seats in the future parliament and objective
possibility to win almost another 25 seats if they go to
elections. With average Serb turnout, Serbs can count on 24 seats
in parliament.
    International representatives in Kosovo think that no Albanian
party will be able to win two thirds majority which means that
there will have to be a coalition containing two or more Albanian
parties to control the  future Kosovar parliament. Organizers of
the elections do not expect that Kosovar assembly will proclaim
independence, which was announced as a realistic possibility after
last year's local elections. However, one western diplomat still
warned us that "if that (proclamation of independence) happened
anyway, we would simply ignore it. We would say to MPs to go to
their homes and continue working what they had done before it."
Polls show that Rugova remains the favorite. According to them, he
will win more than half Albanian votes. Rugova says that the road
to "imminent" independence will be a hard one. Rugova's party is
rather lousy organized although Rugova is undisputed politician
no.1 in Kosovo. DSK won 58 per cent votes at last October's
elections but was unable to take even symbolic local authoritiy
for a whole year. Most local authoritiy is officialy with UNMIK
(UN mission to Kosovo) while some, unofficial, is controlled by
former Kosovio Liberation Army(UCK) memebers, mostly sympathizers
of Taqi or Haradinaj. Rugova's bigest rival will be the former
political UCK leader Taqi, whose rethorics became significantly
more moderate. High place on DPK election list was given to Flora
Bovina, human rights advocate from Pristina who was released from
Serbian jail last October. She was imprisoned because of allegedly
having ties with Albanian rebels. High DPK official Ram Buja,
former member of Albanian negotiating team in Rambouillet and
minister of information in Taqi's transitional government, has
announced initiative for change of Constitutional Framework of
Kosovo in case his party won. Change would mean a referendum on
the final status of the province.
    Taqi is facing many challenges in his party since his
leadership is questioned since last year's defeat at the local
electons. Then he won only 27 per cent votes, significantly less
than his supporters expected. Haradinaj is also counting on KLA
supporters to vote for him since he also used to influential
leader of that formation. Now he started gathering well-known and
respected politicians like Mahmut Bakalli, former communist
politician who was behind all political events in Kosovo,
respected by all international elements in Kosovo but also in the
region. AAK's political force is too small to endanger DSK, but it
could come close to DPK. DSK and AAK coalition, although not
spoken much about now, could be the most natural post-election
coaliton, since cooperation between DSK and Taqi's party or
Serbian representatives seems impossible at this moment. At last
year's local elections AAK won over 7 per cent votes.
    Political representatives of Kosovar Albanians also called
Serbs to participate at the elections, partly because of
international pressure, partly because of belief that
participation of Kosovar Serbs in the parliament is one of the
many condition for starting the independence issue. Belgrade
authorities have no offical position on Serbian turnout, claiming
that there is still enough time and that Serbian demands are far
from being fulfilled. One of the influential Serb leader from the
north of Kosovo Milan Ivanovic said recently that there was not
enough election security, appealing to Belgrade authorities not to
force Serbs to vote.
    International representatives, facing possible Serbian
boycott, sent much criticism to Belgrade authorities, stating like
Hekereup that they "haven't done enough to persuade Serbs to go
out and vote". President of Yugoslav coordination center for
Kosovo Nebojsa Covic immediately answered with a harsh remark that
international community was the one who had to create satsifying
conditions for Serb turnout. UN Security Council also suggested
Serbs to vote. Ater thanking Belgrade authorities, "especially
president Vojislav Kostunica" for support to registration process,
Security Council asked Serbian authorities to also support Serbian
participation to the elections. Kosovar Serbs registered their
civil coalition "Return". For now, all political parties in Serbia
deny any link with it. However, the truth is somehat different -
local Serbs say that founders of "Return" coalition are some less
known people close to some parties in the ruling Democratic
Serbian Opposition (DOS), mentioning Covic's Democratic
Alternative, Christian Democrat Party headed by Serbian justice
minister Vladan Batic and Democratic Party led by prime minister
Zoran Djindjic. What is the truth will be seen when the coalition
registers its list of candidates, something they haven't yet done.

    By Ulvi Hakimov

    10 years have passed since the restoration of Azerbaijan's
    October 18 1991: the Azerbaijan National Council adopted the
constitutional act on "The State Independence of Azerbaijan
Republic". The National Freedom, National Democratic Movement
began under the leadership of Abulfaz Elchibey in 1988 resulted
with the restoration of Azerbaijan's state independence. That day
was the restoration of independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
headed by M.A. Rasulzade and existed in 1918-20. That day was the
day of realization of our independence- the main goal of national
freedom, national democratic movement that I also took part.
    The mass democratic movement had three major goals that time.
First, to ensure Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, i.e.
Azerbaijan's sovereignty in Upper Karabakh. Second, to destroy
Soviet system in Azerbaijan and achieve formation of democratic
and world system instead. And third, to achieve Azerbaijanís state
independence. Unfortunately, while the democratic movement
achieved to its major goal- state independence, but could not
ensure Azerbaijani territorial integrity up today. On the other
hand, the democratic movement has achieved to the break-up of the
Soviet system and while ensured the victory of democracy through
the democratic elections first time in Azerbaijan in 1992, but
could not defend it at the 1993 June revolt, and Elchibey, the
representative of democratic forces, had to leave the power.
Instead, there was restored the 1969 politburo power of Heidar
Aliev, who was one of the distinguished figures of the Soviet
    It is less than unjust to estimate the independence gained
without any role of today's former-communist power led by Heidar
Aliev at the mass national freedom movement held for Azerbaijan's
independence, as a composition of common process going on at the
Soviet Union or like someone has given us independence, and more
than insult to the soul of thousands of martyrs having lost their
life on this way. Azerbaijan or Baltic countries did not hear the
announcement on independence from radio or TV in the morning. On
the contrary, the people struggled for the adoption of the
Constitutional act on independence in front of the parliament
building and achieved to it. That incident also happened at the
extraordinary condition executed by the Soviet Union in
Azerbaijan. On January 20 1990, the Soviet Empire committed a
bloody massacre in Baku and other regions of Azerbaijan in order
to destroy the mass democratic movement and freedom struggle of
the Azeri nation. As a result, hundreds of people were brutally
killed and thousands were injured. The Azeri nation commemorating
the freedom martyrs for 40 days have demonstrated resistance and
insubordination against the soviet regime never seen in history.
Our nation showed heroism before the soviet tanks in order to gain
its freedom on those days. That day was a terror of local
communists together with Moscow against the Azeri nation.
    The restoration of Azerbaijan's independence has created
condition for the formation of democratic institutions,
formalization of political parties, NGOs, development of liberal
market economy in the country, and flaw of foreign investments to
the country. In addition, there has been formalized the
ex-communist nomenclature. At present, there exist mass democratic
organizations having different tactics and same strategies in
Azerbaijan. While their goals are the same, but unfortunately,
they are in separate trenches for various reasons. And the major
reason is the matter of power. The dictatorship governs the
separate forces gathered around it with the formula of one leader,
one team, and one goal. But the democrats act in the form of more
leaders, more teams, and separate goals.
    The peace, stability, prosperity, and even territorial
integrity may be impossible to guarantee in Azerbaijan- and in the
Caucasus as well without a full democracy, without a respect for
the rights and the will of the citizens in the country. As the
last years proved, the non-democratic government brought neither
peace, nor prosperity, nor a sense of the future to Azerbaijan.
Instead, corruption is flagrant, scaring foreign investors, rigged
elections, mass emigration of citizens or unemployment, existence
of political prisoners are indicators of the current
non-democratic government. And the issue of Upper Karabakh is
frozen where it was seven years ago and does not find its
solution. There are needed to a new and mass National Democratic
movement in Azerbaijan in order to prevent all of these, restore
territorial integrity and sovereignty, and democracy in the
country. For this purpose, the unification, partnership and joint
activity of all the Azeri democratic forces and institutions must
be considered important. To guarantee the steady development of
Azerbaijanís independence and democratic development, achieve
building of civil society, holding free and fair elections, try to
be respected the rights and will of citizens, and stop the
existence of political prisoners, and form democratic condition in
the country should be considered major tasks of the National
Democratic Movement. In addition, it is important to find a belief
and support to the opinion "dictatorship causes terror, but
democracy independence and freedom" at the Democratic World.
    On September 11, there happened a terror incident in
Washington and New York cities of the U.S. that has never been
seen in humankind. As a human being I estimated that incident as a
crime against humanity and an offence against humankind, too. In
addition, that attack was also an offence committed against
Freedom and Democracy. The general conclusion of this tragedy is
so: as long as the dictators and dictatorship regimes exist in
some countries of the world, there will be a profitable condition
for terror and terrorists will continue their acts. Today the
Democratic World Union has begun a war against terror. The world
civilization, independence, and freedom will be under danger until
it is not destroyed. The effect of anti-terror operations should
be held in the framework of strangling democracy. The goal
directed to success in the struggle against terror by
collaborating with the dictator regimes will be resulted with
failure at the end. Because today corporation with the
dictatorship will be used for preventing the results of terror in
    We have restored our state independence with the help of
democracy, but later, we have lost sovereignty at the 20 percent
of our occupied lands, and our freedom after all the elections
that did not express the will of citizens as a result of assault
of the dictatorship. In other words, we have discovered the model
of independence with dictatorship and freedom without democracy.
    I hope that the nation that restored its state independence
will restore the democracy in Azerbaijan, as well. There has
already passed 8 years from its arrest. And I believe our
democracy will also be steady and long lasting like our
independence. With the wish of independence without dictatorship
and freedom without democracy.
                               * * *
Romania/Moldavia : DEEPENING CRISIS
    By Angela Magherusan

    Romania and Moldavia have switched their relations from the
"flower-bridge" policy to a stone fence one. After years of
considering themselves brothers, Romanians and Moldavians are now
confronted with a political crisis existing between their
    It started at beginning of this month, with a huge diplomatic
mistake made by the Moldavian justice minister, Ion Morei, who
accused Romania of expansionism and of interfering with Moldavia's
internal affairs. The worst part of it is that Ion Morei made the
declaration during a session of the European Court of Human
Rights, in Strasbourg, which put Romania in a very akward
position, from the point of view of the international perception.
The situation would very likely not have had the development it did
if these declarations were made in a more private context.
    But they were widely disseminated, and Romania couldn't ignore their
effects, and therefore, took position. The Romanian prime minister,
Adrian Nastase, felt deeply wounded by them, as well as president
Ion Iliescu, and so Romania decided to cancel its prime minister's
visit to Moldavia, which was supposed to take place on October the
17th. Adrian Nastase also characterised the Romanian-Moldavian
relations as "redefining" at present. On the other hand, Ion
Iliescu is expecting apologies from the Moldavian gouvernement.
But which are the implications of Ion Morei's accusations ?
    The Moldavian justice minister made them in connection to the
Curch. The European Court of Human Rights was investigating the
controversy  between the Moldavian Church and Governement, because
the latter wouldn't recognise the existence of the Romanian
Ortodox Church in the country. So, the two parties requested the
arbitrary of the European Court, where Ion Morei, as a
representative of the Moldavian justice system, was also
representing Moldavian gouvernement. This made the whole situation
worse, because his declarations were interpreted as declarations
of the neighbouring gouvernement. Ion Morei acussed the
expansionist attitude of Romania, manifested though the support
given by the Romanian Church to the Moldavian one, and though the
"pro-Romanian Moldavian forces".
    Is there any truth in this ? Do those forces exist ? And which
is the background of the whole situation ? Pro-romanian forces in
Moldavia have always existed, but not in the tehnical sense they
are mentioned now. If we consider history, we might even say that
the whole Moldavian people is a pro-Romanian force.
    Politically speaking, things are a bit different, since the
Moldavian comunists are aware of this. The province was part of
Romania till the beginning of the nineteenth century, when,
following a Russian-Turkish war, Moldavia became part of Russia.
It remained so for almost a century, until 1918, when, after First
World War , Romania reunited its teritory, including Moldavia. But
nor for long. As a consequence of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, in
Second World War, Moldavia was re-taken by the Soviets, and
remained so until 1990, when the country proclaimed independence.
Thus, the hope of reunification was born again among the people.
At the political level, the situation continued to be opossite,
due to the forces still loyal to Russia. Romanians and Moldavians
probably always knew that a reunification is not politically
possible, but they continued to be close as brothers. That's the
symbol for which, at the beginning of the 90's, the two parts made
a so-called "flower-bridge". During the last ten years, it ment
unrefundable Romanian financial help for Moldavia, thousands of
scolarships given for the Moldavian students and so on. Otherwise,
the special character of the Romanian-Moldavian relations was
never denied by the two parts till now.
    The ongoing crisis is changing all that, now. Moldavian
justice minister's declarations are thretenning the bilateral
interests, although the Moldavian gouvernement said that it knew
nothing about Ion Morei's intentions. Yet, Moldavian gouvernement
didn't present an official position after founding out about it.
Romanian authorities are still expecting that position, and
further more, president Ion Iliescu, expects even appology. In the
meantime, Adrian Nastase's visit to Moldavia stays cancelled, and
Moldavians, as well as Romanians, expect less emotional reactions
from their political representatives.
Special addition:  NEW AT TOL October 8, 2001
    --- OUR TAKE: In the Name Of Fighting Terrorism ---
    Care should be taken to prevent the U.S.-led campaign against
terrorism from being misused.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    --- TOL MESSAGE ---
    VREME, the Yugoslav independent political weekly, and the
Bosnian daily Nezavisne novine have recently joined the TOL Wire.
Both publications are considered among the most reliable and
objective sources of information in the Balkans. Read more on the
TOL Wire, a daily news service publishing breaking news and
in-depth analysis from selected newsrooms across the former Soviet
Union, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, at:
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    --- WEEK IN REVIEW ---
    Deafening Silence In the wake of U.S. and British air-strikes
against Afghan targets, the post-communist countries in Central
Asia are remaining quiet.
    by Michael Cavanagh
    More Questions Than Answers The unexplained crash of a Russian
aircraft raises further fears of terrorist attacks.
    by Maria Antonenko
    Coming Together
    Winners in Poland's parliamentary elections choose another
party for the ruling coalition.
    by Wojtek Kosc
    Japan's Schindler
    Lithuanians honor wartime Japanese diplomat who saved
thousands of Jews.
    by Giedrius Blagnys
    Troubled Waters
    Relations between Romania and Moldova worsen after remarks
from Moldovan official.
    by Angela Sirbu in Chisinau and Zsolt-Istvan Mato in Cluj
    U.S. Reassures Muslims in Kazakhstan.
    Mongolian Parliamentary Speaker Dies Unexpectedly
    Lukashenka Makes Changes in Belarusian Government
    EU Opens Doors to Candidate Country Businesses
    Creation of Central European Oil Giant Possible
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    The Centre for Euro-Asian Studies is hosting a conference:
    on November 9, 2001 (The University of Reading). Among the
participants are members of the diplomatic corps and
representatives of Banks and Companies. For further details please
contact Ms Evelyn McDonald or
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Out of the Fog
    A year after the ousting of Milosevic, Yugoslavia is in much
better shape--but how long can the ruling coalition hold out?
    by Tihomir Loza
    From TOL's Balkan Reconstruction Report
    The Deep End: Saving on Soap
    More quirky news from around the region.
    by TOL Staff
    Media Notes: A Peculiar Similarity Current discussions on the
unification of Belarus and Russia oddly echo similar debates about
Soviet-U.S. relations in the 1970s--but not in every aspect.
    by Alexei Pankin
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    --- BOOKS ---
   Ukraine, Unexpected
   Andrew Wilson's recent book on Ukraine dispels widely held
myths while scrupulously describing the country's development.
   by Steven Erlanger
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    --- FEATURES ---
    Weighty Proclamations The pope earns accolades among Armenians
for his references to genocide during a recent visit.
    by Emil Danielyan
    Fuel to the Fire
    Workers at more than 500 privatized companies in the
Bosniak-Croat Federation are still waiting for the new owners to
show up and claim responsibility. by Anes Alic and Jen Tracy
    From TOL's Balkan Reconstruction Report
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    --- OUR TAKE: In the Name of Fighting Terrorism ---
    Care should be taken to prevent the U.S.-led campaign against
terrorism from being misused.
    The U.S.-led fight against terrorism entered a new phase on
Sunday with the start of the bombing campaign in Afghanistan. This
intensification of the "war on terrorism" is bound to have
far-reaching side effects on different areas of the world. In the
post-communist regions of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet
Union, some of these effects are already making themselves felt,
while others may still be in the making.
    Governments and public officials across the region have
responded to concerns about terrorism in a variety of ways,
ranging from talk about increasing police powers to inflammatory
statements about Muslims. Certainly, the threat of terrorism is
very real for countries in the region and governments should be
prepared to fight against it. But care should be taken to prevent
governments from using the "war on terrorism" as a cover for
squelching civil liberties or as a weapon in ethnic conflicts.
    The concept of a global war on terrorism is a potentially
dangerous weapon that can be used for all manner of purposes. A
key, if careful, supporter of the U.S.-led campaign has been
Uzbekistan, a country that has reportedly allowed U.S. troops onto
its territory in connection with the attack on Afghanistan. The
Uzbek people experienced terrorism at home a couple of years back,
when bombs went off in Tashkent. But they have also experienced
the heavy-handed rule of President Islam Karimov and his efforts
to stamp out Islamic extremism.
    Human Rights Watch has cited local estimates that some 7,000
independent Muslims are currently serving prison terms in
Uzbekistan on the grounds that they are affiliated to religious
groups or have participated in "anti-state activity." Little in
the way of evidence has been presented to back up those claims and
the prisoners are often tortured while in detention. Any overt
display of religious belief, such as growing a beard or wearing
certain types of headscarves, is viewed with suspicion by the
Uzbek government. Similar crackdowns on Muslims have been noted in
other formerly Soviet states of Central Asia who have actively
welcomed the U.S.-led campaign.
    While U.S. President George W. Bush has insisted that the war
on terrorism is not a war on Islam, the distinction sometimes
seems less clear for the authoritarian governments of Central
Asia. Likewise, if the United States has identified the Afghan
regime--a clearly brutal one--as one of its enemies, it is not
difficult to imagine some of its "allies" in the war on terrorism
identifying their own enemies as well.
    The U.S. fight against terrorism has also become a factor in
other regions of the former communist bloc. In the former
Yugoslavia, theissue is stoking old enmities and has the potential
of becoming a destabilizing factor. The Helsinki Committee for
Human Rights, forexample, recently expressed its concern over a
series of comments by Serbian politicians, public officials, and
media, who seemed to equate terrorists with ethnic Albanians and
Muslim Bosniaks.
    Meanwhile, in Russia, the Foreign Ministry has responded to
the air strikes by announcing that "terrorists wherever they
are--inAfghanistan, in Chechnya, the Middle East, or the
Balkans--should know that they will be brought to justice."
Certainly, few would argue that fighting against terrorism is not
a worthy goal and that countries have a right to protect
themselves from it. But the Russian fight against Chechen
"bandits" and "terrorists" has also involved massive civilian
casualties and brutal "mopping up" operations in which entire
villages have been terrorized by the military.
    Finally, as in the United States itself, countries across the
region have talked about increasing police powers of surveillance
and monitoring as part of the "war on terrorism." It is probably a
good idea to increase surveillance in some areas, such as at
airports and the like. But in countries that were police states
only a few years ago, loose talk of "restricting" certain freedoms
is cause for concern.
    In general, great care should be taken in defining the word
"terrorism" and "terrorist." In the current atmosphere, with bombs
falling, strong words flying, and potential terrorist retaliations
in the making, those two words have the potential of getting very
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