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Reports of asylum negotiations for Milosevic denied

MOSCOW, THE HAGUE, Monday -- Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic will not negotiate his way out of being arrested on a Hague Tribunal indictment for crimes against humanity, Tribunal spokesman Paul Risley said today. Risley was commenting on an article in today's New York Times on current international speculation as to how Milosevic can be persuaded to step down from power. Responding to the article's claim that the Clinton administration has had informal discussions with its NATO partners and Russia on how Milosevic might be eased out of office with certain guarantees, Risley said that the Yugoslav president's personal and material security could be guaranteed but that no deal would ever be made which would guarantee him not appearing before the Hague court.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov described the assertion that Moscow was involved in negotiations over asylum for Milosevic as a fantasy. Ivanov told Reuters that no secret discussions had taken place between Russia and the US about Milosevic's destiny and that the New York Times' only source for the story was a wild imagination.

Source: B92

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