Serbia's president must get the Bosnian Serbs to accept an international peace plan if he wants sanctions lifted against his country, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said Monday.
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic "will need a lot of courage now," Kozyrev said after meeting with Milosevic. "Milosevic must get Bosnian Serbs' endorsement of the plan, and the Russian side will get the lifting of the sanctions."Kozyrev's comments, made to Russian reporters and given to The Associated Press, suggested Milosevic must carry out threats to cut off vital support to the Bosnian Serbs if he is to press them into agreeing to the plan.
Russia, the United States, Britain, France and Germany have proposed slashing Serb holdings in Bosnia from 70 percent to 49 percent, and giving the rest of the war-torn state to a Muslim-Croat federation.
The federation has accepted the plan, but the Bosnian Serbs have balked.
On Sunday, Milosevic gave his strongest warning yet to Bosnian Serb leaders that he may cut off the weapons, food, fuel and money on which their self-styled republic depends.
But he has made such threats before and never followed through.
Momcilo Krajisnik, head of the self-styled Bosnian Serb assembly, indicated the Bosnian Serbs might still defy Milosevic and let their people decide on the plan in a referendum.
Milosevic is widely seen as chief instigator of three years of Balkan warfare, inciting Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia to fight for a "Greater Serbia."