Hope on the Balkans
Dienstbier: Milosevic refuses Ivanov's mediation
Special UN envoy for human rights in former Yugoslavia Jiri Dienstbier stated today that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic refused a mediation from the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Igor Ivanov. Dienstbier told a press conference in Podgorica that the Democratic Opposition of Serbia had previously accepted Ivanov as a mediator over disputed results in the presidential election.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced earlier today that he was willing to send Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to Belgrade for consultations with all the participants in the political process within FR Yugoslavia. Dienstbier was to arrive in Belgrade and meet Vojislav Kostunica. Dienstbier was also scheduled to meet Yugoslav Foreign Minister on Monday and discuss, amongst other things, the disappearance of former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic.
Commenting on his meetings with the Montenegrin officials, Dienstbier stated that "everyone was eagerly awaiting further developments in Belgrade" going on to say that everyone agreed that fundamental changes were about to take place resulting in the lifting of all sanctions against Yugoslavia and negotiations between Serbia and Montenegro on their mutual relations. "Montenegro's patience is running out and soon it will not be willing any more to pay the price for a catastrophic situation in Serbia", Dienstbier cited Montenegrin officials' views.
Source: Beta News Agency
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