about icg 
  Latin America 
  Middle East 
  by region 
  by date 
  by keyword 
  media releases 
  articles/op. eds 
  media contacts 
contact us 
donate to icg 

 home  programs  europe  balkans  serbia
  EU and U.S. must apply conditions on aid to Serbia

Belgrade/Brussels, 15 June 2001: The Milosevic legacy of extremism, war crimes and territorial ambition still threatens Serbia’s fledgling democracy and peace in the Balkans.

Slobodan Milosevic is in a Belgrade jail, facing domestic charges of corruption and abuse of power rather than The Hague Tribunal’s indictment. Many others indicted for war crimes enjoy Belgrade’s protection, both in Serbia and Republika Srpska. Belgrade’s government continues to provide men and money for Republika Srpska’s army, threatening Bosnia’s future. It supports parallel Serb structures in Kosovo, frustrating international efforts to hold elections and establish a functioning administration that includes the Serb population.

It is vital, therefore, that the donors’ conference planned for 29 June sets clear conditions on the aid that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) so badly needs to repair the damage Milosevic did to his country’s economy and finances.

A new report from the International Crisis Group, A Fair Exchange: Aid to Yugoslavia for Regional Stability, argues that whatever aid is pledged should be tied to:

 cooperation with The Hague war crimes tribunal (ICTY);
 cooperation with the international community to implement the Dayton peace accords in Bosnia, especially by withdrawing support for the Bosnian Serb security services; and
 cooperation with the UN Mission in Kosovo, especially in encouraging participation of Kosovo Serbs in November’s elections, and emphasising that their future lies in Kosovo regardless of the eventual settlement of the province’s final status.

ICG’s Balkans Program Director Mark Thompson said: “The arrest of Slobodan Milosevic in April for corruption and abuse of power was welcome but did not constitute cooperation with the Hague Tribunal. The attitude of FRY leaders, including President Vojslav Kostunica, to the ICTY remains at best ambiguous, and often hostile.”

The FRY’s massive debt and devastated economy give Western donors leverage to use aid conditionality to strengthen regional stability. It is vital that the EU and U.S. agree on a common strategy for the donors’ conference, including willingness to postpone it indefinitely unless and until Serbia (FRY) acts in the next two weeks on at least one of these three areas.


copyright privacy sitemap