YUGOSLAVIA: PARTIAL LIFTING OF SANCTIONS BY E.U.

In the meeting of the European Union Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg today, the EU issued a declaration stating that the oil embargo on Yugoslavia will be lifted immediately, along with the ban on flights. Diesel and petrol restrictions are to remain, however, and financial and visa restrictions are to be lifted progressively. The reactions from Yugoslavia are positive, the general atmosphere being one of happiness that at last the country will be allowed to try to link its economy with the outside world. However, the people will expect to see results and this puts pressure not only on newly-elected President Vojislav Kostunica but also on the international community to create the climate for economic success so that significant improvement in standards of living can be felt as soon as possible. On 17th December, the main political parties in the Republic of Yugoslavia will hold elections to choose their leaders. It is reported that Slobodan Milosevic will not stand for election to the SPS, which is searching for a new, post-Milosevic image. This news will not be well received by the ex-President, who today heard also that his son, Marko Milosevic, was turned back from Beijing airport together with his wife and son. The Chinese authorities alleged Visa problems. Marko is now reported to be back on his way to Moscow. Accused of being linked to beatings of opponents in Belgrade, it is unlikely that he will want to return there. The modern history of Yugoslavia is an example of a country which managed to isolate itself from the international community, even from countries which were formerly friendly towards the regime. It is sad to see a family spend the rest of their lives running but then again, this is a symptom, not a cause.

Tim Bancroft-Hinchey Correspondent of PRAVDA.Ru Lissabon