A top Russian diplomat said May 15 that while military support for one or another political grouping in the Balkans might win Russia some immediate diplomatic gains, only the establishment of a strong economic presence in the region can assure it of long-term influence. With that goal in mind, Igor Ivanov said it was critical for Russia to participate over the next three years in the reconstruction of the former Yugoslavia. In related remarks, Ivanov also suggested that Moscow would not hinder the prosecution of Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic on war crimes charges. (Interfax, May 15)
Taiwanese Concerns no Concern of Moscow.