Peter Yermilin: Kostunica’s first test of stamina

Yugoslavia’s president is very likely to face today the first major discontent from the people who elected him president. It is today that the West’s fighting for spheres of influence in Yugoslavia may get started. Interestingly, Javier Solana is going to become one of the first Western politicians to step onto the Belgrade soil. One may eloquently adduce proofs in Davos that Yugoslavia has put up with the world’s situation, that it has resigned itself to the virtual dictate of Washington, as Mr. Kostunica recently explained it to the leaders of world economy in Switzerland. However, this kind of eloquence may backfire in his homeland where the people have developed fairly specific feelings towards Mr. Solana who gave orders to bombard Belgrade and other cities and towns. So, Mr. Solana’s visit, even if as a delegation member, is going to put Belgrade’s ruling new elite to a serious test.