Aid suspension, a serious warning
LONDON -- Monday – The decision by the US Congress to cut further aid to Serbia cannot technically be labelled an implementation of sanctions, but it does represent a serious warning issued to the Serbian Government.
Commenting the US Congress’ decision to suspend 75 million dollars worth of aid to Serbia, under the condition that the financial help will be reinstated if notorious war crimes fugitives Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are extradited to The Hague by May 31, 2006, former Serbia-Montenegro foreign affairs minister Goran Svilanovic said that this is a serious warning by the US, stressing the importance of Serbia fulfilling all of its international obligations.
Svilanovic told daily Dnevnik that this decision is not only about the 75 million dollars, but also effects the direct influence which the US has on financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and UN.
“That is exactly what Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic keeps giving warnings about: it is nationally irresponsible to enter the Kosovo status discussions with the dead weight of the unfulfilled expectations of international community.” Svilanovic said, adding that, “It is important for us in this process which lies ahead, to have the support of everyone, especially members of the Security Council. And that is why the Government must finally begin to decisively take care of everything that is currently chained to our legs.” Svilanovic said.
He said that Washington’s reaction is not surprising and serves as a reminder that the Serbian Government made a promise to American Under Secretary of State, Mark Grossman, a year and a half ago, that Mladic would be arrested.
“In the meantime, Grossman made another trip to Belgrade, a visit that was followed by a visit from his colleague Nicholas Burns. And they leave Belgrade full of optimism every time, stressing that they have received strong proofs of the Government’s readiness to do something about Mladic’s arrest.” Svilanovic said.