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POLICE CONFIRM ARRESTS IN BANKER MURDER CASE. The Prosecutor-General's Office confirmed in Moscow on October 16 that police have arrested three suspects in the murder of Central Bank official Andrei Kozlov, news agencies (see "RFE/RL Newsline," September 14, 15, and 18, and October 13, 2006). Prosecutors said in a statement the suspects were "connected to organizing and carrying out" the September 13 killing. It gave no further details. Earlier, Russia's "Kommersant" daily reported that police have detained three Ukrainian citizens on suspicion of murdering Kozlov, who led efforts against money laundering. The paper said the suspects confessed -- one to killing Kozlov, another to killing his driver, and the third to driving the getaway car. It also said the police probe is focused on banks that were threatened with losing their licenses due to anticorruption efforts by Kozlov. The daily "Vremya novostei" earlier reported that the three Ukrainian citizens turned themselves in once they realized whom they had killed and who his enemies, who hired the three, might be. PM
EU GRANTS SCHOLARSHIPS TO BELARUSIAN STUDENTS. The European Commission on October 16 announced a scholarship program for Belarusian students expelled from universities because of the opposition to the regime of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, dpa and Reuters reported. The EU is offering scholarships worth 5 million euros ($6.3 million) to give expelled students the chance to continue their studies in neighboring countries such as Lithuania and Ukraine. EU funds will cover tuition fees and living expenses for 170 masters and 35 bachelor programs for new students in the European Humanities University in Vilnius as well as living expenses for Belarusian students already enrolled there. The three-year-program also includes scholarships for 100 students in Ukraine and other neighboring countries. Financial aid will be granted to students who have been accepted by a host university and who have demonstrated that they cannot study in Belarus. JM
OUR UKRAINE OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES SWITCH TO OPPOSITION. Roman Bezsmertnyy, leader of the parliamentary caucus of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc, said at a session of the Verkhovna Rada on October 17 that his bloc is switching to the opposition, Ukrainian media reported. "In the past two months we witnessed a break in Ukraine's domestic and foreign course that was supported by the Ukrainian people during the election of President Viktor Yushchenko. Integration with the World Trade Organization is being ruined, programs of cooperation between Ukraine and the EU have actually been halted," Bezsmernyy said. "Under such circumstances Our Ukraine has left the negotiating process [with the ruling coalition], Our Ukraine is in the opposition, [and] our ministers are leaving the government," he added. Bezsmertnyy appealed to opposition forces in the Verkhovna Rada to set up an opposition confederation called European Ukraine. He did not touch upon the nature of Our Ukraine's future relations with the parliamentary opposition, which was set up by the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc last month. JM
UKRAINIAN RULING PARTY PROPOSES TO RESTORE ROUNDTABLE TALKS. Yuriy Miroshnychenko, a lawmaker from the ruling Party of Regions, said in the Verkhovna Rada on October 17 that his party is proposing to reinstate the roundtable talks that the president conducted with representatives of major political forces in Ukraine in July and August (see "RFE/RL Newsline," July 27, 2006), UNIAN reported. According to Miroshnychenko, the roundtable should work out a "consensus vision" of the government under the existing circumstances of a parliamentary-presidential political system in Ukraine and put an end to "conflicts in the lobbies" between the president and the prime minister. Miroshnychenko vowed that the ruling coalition led by the Party of Regions is ready for cooperation with President Yushchenko. JM
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT DELAYS HEARINGS ON WTO MEMBERSHIP. The Verkhovna Rada on October 17 decided to postpone until November 1 parliamentary hearings on Ukraine's prospects for and problems regarding its entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO), UNIAN reported. The hearings were originally planned for October 18. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz said the postponement does not imply that deputies will not discuss WTO-related bills in the meantime. Ukraine still needs to pass a dozen of laws and sign a bilateral trade accord with Kyrgyzstan in order to be ready for WTO entry. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych urged parliament on October 16 to move quickly to pass the legislation that would enable Ukraine to join the WTO early next year. JM
RUSSIA TIGHTENS CHECKS ON UKRAINIAN ALCOHOL. Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's consumer rights watchdog, said on October 16 that it is carrying out checks of all alcohol imports from Ukraine, looking for banned wines from Georgia and Moldova, international news agencies reported. "We have reason to believe there is some sort of agreement between these countries -- including Ukraine, Belarus, and Azerbaijan -- to help these two countries [Georgia and Moldova] enter the Russian market," Rospotrebnadzor head Gennady Onishchenko said in a television interview. In another television interview Onishchenko said a doubling of wine imports from Ukraine is suspicious, adding that all alcohol imports, including vodka, will be probed. JM
MOLDOVA CALLS FOR NEW PEACEKEEPING ARRANGEMENT IN TRANSDNIESTER. Speaking at a meeting of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly in Chisinau on October 15, Moldovan parliament speaker Marin Lupu called for the current peacekeeping arrangement in Transdniester to be changed, Moldpres reported the same day. Lupu said current conditions in the breakaway region are different than in the early 1990s, when Russian peacekeepers were deployed there. "The format is old and we are open to dialogue," Lupu told reporters. It was the second comment by Lupu at the GUAM (which is comprised of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) meeting that is likely to anger Moscow. Also speaking on October 15, he said that Moldova will not recognize a planned independence referendum in Georgia's separatist pro-Russian South Ossetia region (see "RFE/RL Newsline," October 16, 2006). BW
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
A Survey of Developments in Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova by the Regional Specialists of RFE/RL's Newsline Team.
MILINKEVICH SAYS BELARUSIANS MUST COMBAT 'TOTAL FEAR.' For many, Alyaksandr Milinkevich has become the face of the Belarusian opposition. The leading challenger to incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the country's March 19 presidential poll, Milinkevich came away with just 6 percent of the vote. But he succeeded in rallying the Belarusian public to an unprecedented degree, with as many as 10,000 people gathering in central Minsk to challenge Lukashenka's win on the night of the ballot. RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari spoke to Milinkevich on the sidelines of the 10th annual Forum 2000 in Prague.
RFE/RL: You have said that the regime of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka cannot be deposed through elections, but only with the help of street protests like those in Ukraine in 2004. What conditions are needed in order for Belarusians to take to the street on a mass scale?
Milinkevich: There are no longer any elections in our country. As in any dictatorship, elections can't bring about a change of power. Only the street -- people at meetings and in demonstrations -- can make things change. Our country is not Ukraine and not Serbia. In Ukraine, apathy had to be overcome to take to the streets. In our country, we had to combat fear, total fear.
RFE/RL: Thousands of people protested in Minsk immediately after the March presidential elections. But those numbers quickly dwindled, and since then, the opposition has been unable to mobilize more than a few hundred, mostly young people, for street protests. Have you been disappointed by the failure to build a big protest movement?
Milinkevich: It's true, what happened was a little surprising, even for me -- and I didn't think there would be many people. But dictatorship is not defeated with the first blow. We must work. But I'm not fighting Lukashenka -- he doesn't interest me. What I'm fighting for are ideas, because everything is distorted by the ever-present propaganda. Even today, without demonstrations, we carry on this work on a daily basis; we distribute information, we mobilize people, we travel to towns and villages.
RFE/RL: You're often criticized for spending your time meeting with European politicians abroad, rather than with your compatriots at home. How do you intend to communicate with ordinary voters in Belarus, especially given the fact that such contacts are often officially prohibited?
Milinkevich: After the elections, I met with many foreign leaders, but this was not political tourism. If we want to think about our future, we must be in touch with people who are influential in Europe. In addition, we are in danger because it is not only democracy we are fighting for -- we are also fighting for our independence [from Russia]. And here, Europe's help and understanding are absolutely essential.
RFE/RL: In March you announced the creation of a broad democratic movement For Freedom in Belarus. Has this initiative progressed beyond its declaration? Quite recently you have said that you're taking personal responsibility for the establishment of this movement. Does this means that parties united in the Political Council of Democratic Forces have ceased to see you as the leader of the united opposition and refused to cooperate in setting up the new movement?
Milinkevich: After the elections, we understood that many new people not belonging to parties and NGOs came to help us during the elections. I wanted the dozens of parties forming the coalition to start uniting all these people. Unfortunately, the parties failed to do this and people are now displeased. I am still the leader of this union of parties, but it is progressing very slowly. It's not that easy. After the elections, or even before, this movement will break up into parties. There are social democrats, Christians, liberals. But now we all need to be together.
RFE/RL: Should the Belarusian opposition seek support from Moscow to oust Lukashenka?
Milinkevich: Freedom is above all our own affair. But our movement needs support in Brussels, in Moscow, and in Washington. I don't think Moscow will decide everything, but I am always seeking contact with decision-makers there. This is necessary, because our leader has been saying for years that [the opposition] are Russophobic, that we are anti-Russian, and this is not true. Of course I'm pro-Belarusian, but I would like to have the best of relations with Russia.
FUKUYAMA SAYS IDEAS ON LIBERAL DEMOCRACY 'MISUNDERSTOOD.' Professor Francis Fukuyama is best known for his idea that the world settled on liberal democracy after the ideological struggle of the Cold War. After giving a lecture at the 10th Anniversary of the Economic Education and Research Consortium in Kyiv, he spoke to RFE/RL Ukrainian Service correspondent Marianna Dratch about the unrealistic expectations of the Orange Revolution, the development of civil society in Ukraine, and how his ideas on liberal democracy have been misunderstood and misused.
RFE/RL: Some time ago, you wrote that Ukrainians believe that the strongest nongovernmental organization in their country is the mafia. What, in your opinion, has changed in the past few years?
Francis Fukuyama: What's been very impressive about Ukraine has been the emergence of Ukrainian civil society. I think in Russia in the 1990s you had some evidence of civil society in terms of free media, civic groups, and so forth. Ukraine had relatively less of that, but then all of a sudden with the Orange Revolution it became apparent that there were a lot of groups out there that were willing to participate politically to the point that you could actually force the second election and a change in the outcome. I think that's a positive form of social capital, as opposed to the negative form of social capital as presented by the mafias.
RFE/RL: But many people in Ukraine are now disappointed in the Orange Revolution and they mistrust the government. The parties that led the Orange Revolution have gone to the opposition. So what happened to civil society?
Fukuyama: I think that the expectations that were created by the Orange Revolution were probably unrealistic, that you would have the transformation of Ukraine overnight into a well-functioning liberal democracy. I think that really takes time. And there were conflicts of interest within the Orange coalition and problems in leadership and all of that sort of thing. It's not surprising that things haven't gone as well as people hoped back then. I think the important question for the long term is whether people can remain mobilized so that there continues to be pressure on the government to reflect the wishes of the Ukrainian people. I don't think you're at the point yet where you can say everyone is simply going to back to being passive.
RFE/RL: The crucial question is how to build social capital. Is it possible to build up social capital from top to bottom, or from abroad?
Fukuyama: No, I think that social capital is almost always built from the bottom up, through people working together, the way they're trained and educated and so forth. Governments can only create a framework in which people can create social capital for themselves, and so the government has to avoid being too interventionist in controlling everything. People have to be allowed freedom to associate and to work with each other. But the government has to provide the basic security stability, social order, and political order. That's also another necessary condition for social capital to arise.
RFE/RL: And what about foreign governments or foreign sponsors or international organizations trying to sponsor NGOs in certain countries?
Fukuyama: I think you have to put that into the broader context of globalization. It's simply the case that a lot of things move across international borders -- money, ideas, communication, information. So I think it's inevitable that people look to foreign models and ideas, they get funding from outside in shaping their own society. But in the end it is the people in the society that create civil society, they create social capital, they create democracy. It's not something that can really be done by any group of outsiders.
RFE/RL: You have often been criticized for cultural determinism. This is an important issue for Ukraine, because in its history, Ukraine has been torn between different empires and now the unity of the country is still a test that people have to face. What is your advice on this? How do you close the cultural gaps within a country?
Fukuyama: I think that cultures change over time. Right now you have a very different global condition where you have influences that don't come just from the neighborhood, they come from all over the place, from Europe, from America. I think the important thing is to remain open to those other types of ideas and models. Also the way that people get training and knowledge, that has a big effect on culture. So all of these I think will affect Ukrainian culture in the future.
RFE/RL: Professor Fukuyama, some of your critics say that your ideas about the primacy of liberal democracy created a climate suitable for the self-assured behavior of the U.S. government in world affairs. Do you feel responsible to any extent for this?
Fukuyama: Well, no. I think that the Bush administration, to the extent that they thought they were using my ideas, really misunderstood them.... They were really Leninists because they believe that they would use power to advance democracy. And I have always been more of a Marxist, in the sense that I believe that democracy comes about as a result of a long-term process of modernization that's driven by forces within each society but that you can't speed up that process from the outside. And so to the extent that they thought that 's what I was arguing, I think they misunderstood what I was saying.
"RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova Report" is prepared by Jan Maksymiuk on the basis of a variety of sources including reporting by "RFE/RL Newsline" and RFE/RL's broadcast services. It is distributed every Tuesday.