Balkans: July 7, 2003


Macedonia said that it plans to have the army reorganized with in a year. The goal is to create a force capable of handling what the government describes as "unconventional challenges." The new military will be a security force capable of handling terrorist threats, guerrilla warfare, and --we suspect-- running counter-smuggling operations.

It's been a long time coming. In 1992 Russia and Romania began negotiating a new "basic treaty" to govern bi-lateral relations. On July 4 Russia and Romania signed the new treaty. Romanian gold and art treasures captured by the Red Army in World War II were one of the negotiating hang ups. Though they have yet to be returned to Romania, Russia has agreed to abide by the decisions of a joint commission set up to resolve the issue. Other "bad history" stalled negotiations. Romania got Russia to condemn the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Treaty (which made the USSR a de facto ally of Nazi Germany). Russia got Romania to condemn its role in World War II as an active ally of the Third Reich.




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