Boris Yeltsin authorized by decree October 6 deliveries of Russian gas to Bosnia. Discussed with Bosnian prime minister Haris Silajdzic in Moscow during the preceding days, the step was initially presented by Moscow as a humanitarian measure to heat Sarajevo in the cold season. However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement October 9 that the measure was conditional on the Bosnian government´s immediate acceptance of the cease-fire. (1)
The explicit conditionality is not free of political risks. An unnamed senior Foreign Ministry official worried aloud that Russia might be held responsible if the linkage failed to work as desired owing to likely delays in bringing the gas on stream and in making arrangements with Ukraine and Hungary for piping the gas across their territories. The official insisted that the Bosnian government must abide by the cease-fire irrespective of Russia´s technical ability to bring the gas to Sarajevo by the October 10 deadline. (2)
Duma Fails to Override Yeltsin, Passes Softer Bill on Yugoslavia Sanctions.