Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 110

Russia’s acquiescence to key Western demands for a peace settlement, in turn, helped to compel Milosevic to accept those same demands during Viktor Chernomyrdin’s and Martti Ahtisaari’s visit to Belgrade on June 2-3. Belgrade appeared to find itself worse off than it had been during the Rambouillet peace talks in France earlier this year insofar as it would be able to deploy far fewer troops and police in Kosovo. And, though the Kosovo international security force would enter Kosovo under UN auspices, as Belgrade had wanted, the language in the June 2-3 peace agreement suggested that the contingent would be largely run and manned by NATO troops–something which has been anathema to Belgrade.

But Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic’s apparent capitulation last week seems to have been based upon the fact that Moscow had also won several concessions from the West during the long weeks of negotiation which preceded the June 2-3 visit. In this regard, the June 3 agreement was in some ways more palatable to Belgrade than was the Rambouillet accord. For one thing, the troops serving in the Kosovo security force would enjoy freedom of movement throughout Kosovo–but not throughout Yugoslavia as a whole, as had been the case under Rambouillet. In addition, the new agreement did not contain Rambouillet’s call for a referendum which might have led to the province’s independence after three years. That too had been staunchly opposed by the Yugoslav authorities (International Herald Tribune, June 5; New York Times, June 6).