Washington to Block Financial Aid to Belgrade

Economic sanctions against Yugoslavia may be introduced on March 31, 2003 already
Serbian authorities officially declared on Wednesday that at present they have no opportunities for extradition of General Ratko Mladic and several more Serbs suspected of war crimes in Bosnia in 1993-1995. As Russia’s news agency Rosbalt informs, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic said at a press conference in Belgrade that Belgrade had already demonstrated its good will when Slobodan Milosevic, Milan Milutinovic and Biljana Plavsic were delivered to the Hague Tribunal. Nevertheless, it is declared that Washington’s demand concerning arrest of General Ratko Mladic “couldn’t be physically satisfied.” In the words of Zoran Djindjic, the West is demanding “too much from Serbia, at the time when dozens of war criminals are still free in Croatia.”

On January 22 Washington declared that financial aid to Belgrade would be frozen, as Serbia “was reluctant to participate in arrest of Serbs suspected of war crimes.” As is expected, the USA will introduce economic sanctions against Belgrade on March 31, 2003.

The Serb government sent an official letter to the leadership of the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia demanding to release former Serbian President Milan Milutinovic. As the press-service of the Serb Cabinet informs, the letter signed by Serbia Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic guarantees that Milutinovic won’t try to escape justice and will regularly appear at the Tribunal hearings.

We would like to mention that Milan Milutinovic surrendered to the Hague authorities on his own free will on Monday , as emissaries of the International Tribunal promised he would be absolutely free until the end of the trial on him. However, the former president of Serbia was put into jail on Tuesday already. Milan Milutinovic is accused of genocide against Albanian population of Kosovo in 1999.

As for former leaders of Bosnia’s Serbs, Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, the emissary of the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavis in the Balkans, Vanessa Le Roa said in a recent interview to the Rosbalt news agency: “It seems that the Serbian leadership, that is currently aiming at incorporation with the European Union and NATO, actually has no notion of the whereabouts of Karadzic and Mladic; however, this ignorance prevails only among Serbia’s high-ranking authorities. It is said that officers of the Serbian special services, party activists and Milosevic’s former brothers-in-arms know where the suspected persons are. Thus, main objective of the Tribunal is now to find out where Karadzic and Mladic are and deliver them to the trial.” Vanessa Le Roa added generously: “The International Tribunal will give them a chance to try and prove their innocence.”

Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: https://www.pravda.ru/world/34968-beograd/

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