Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 98

Aleksa Buha, the would-be Bosnian Serb foreign minister, was received by Russia’s first deputy foreign minister Igor Ivanov and other officials at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow on September 19. Buha was received despite an impromptu arrival seemingly without an invitation; he was said to have requested the meetings with the officials only after arriving. Buha was to have inaugurated a "Bosnian Serb cultural center" in Moscow during his visit, but the inauguration was rescheduled for October. (1)

Russian officials stressed that Buha was being received in his capacity as a member of the joint Yugoslav (i.e. Milosevic-led all-Serbian) delegation to peace negotiations on Bosnia. Despite these claims, some aspects of Buha’s visit could be interpreted as incipient elements of Russian recognition of the Bosnian Serb republic: for example, Russia’s official news agency Itar-Tass cited the hitherto unknown "Bosnian Serb republic’s mission" in Moscow as one of its sources for information on the Buha visit. Prior to departing Pale, Buha had called for Russian military assistance and suspension of the economic sanctions against rump Yugoslavia and for pan-Slavic-Orthodox solidarity. The Bosnian Serbs’ or rump Yugoslavia’s chances to obtain satisfaction on the first two counts are very slim at present.

Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev was on a prescheduled official trip to Central Asia while Buha was in Moscow.

Hint of Lifting Sanctions; New Call for Arms.