NATO hopes peace deal deflates Milosevic's power
From State Department Correspondent Andrea Koppel
June 4, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Despite Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's acceptance of a peace plan for Kosovo, the United States and NATO said they will not count on him to serve as a guarantor of the peace agreement.
U.S. administration officials told CNN that once all Yugoslav and Serb forces leave Kosovo and an international peacekeeping force goes in, Milosevic's relevance will be significantly diminished.
"By any rational calculation, Milosevic comes out of this much, much weaker," said State Department spokesman James Rubin.
NATO and its allies have said they will not help Yugoslavia rebuild if Milosevic, now indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity, remains in power.
"You have a dictator in charge, an indicted war criminal as your leader. And you cannot expect properly to be part of the reconstruction of the Balkans while that remains so," British Prime Minister Tony Blair said of the people of Serbia.
Yugoslav officials have estimated that NATO's bombing campaign on Yugoslavia has caused $100 billion in damages.
But NATO's strategy of isolating Milosevic could ultimately play to the Yugoslav president's strength, warned some who have studied Milosevic.
"I think that down the road -- two, three, four years -- you are going to see people in Serbia again rising up against Milosevic and he using some other stoked up violence to keep himself in power," said Milosevic biographer Louise Branson.
Chernomyrdin's peace efforts criticized by some Russians
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