Facebook Twitter



The first civilian trucks in three years entered Sarajevo through a key access road controlled by Serbs, in another small step toward ending the city's siege.

Four trucks, three carrying flour and one carrying cement, traveled a main road under U.N. armored escort and entered the capital Friday morning.Serbs watched the convoy move through the western suburb of Ilidza but did not try to stop it, even though the trucks carried license plates from Bosnian government territory.

"Civilians raised their eyebrows, but they didn't do much else," said U.N. spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Vernon.

The Serbs control all the roads into Sarajevo, and the 31/2-year-old siege has cut off most civilian traffic in and out of the capital. As tensions eased periodically through- out the war, various roads have been opened briefly, only to close again as fighting increased.

Freedom of movement for civilians in and out of the besieged capital was among the key terms of the Oct. 12 cease-fire, and remains the gauge of whether Sarajevo's siege has been lifted. A stable truce is crucial to high-level peace talks next week near Dayton, Ohio.

President Boris Yeltsin of Russia was to have held a summit with the presidents of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia in Moscow on Tuesday, but the meeting was postponed Friday because Yeltsin has been hospitalized with an apparent heart attack. (Story on A8.)

Meanwhile in Washington after a second round of talks, the United States and Russia remained at loggerheads Friday over whether and how Russian troops would participate in a prospective NATO-led unit to enforce a Bosnia peace settlement.

Defense Secretary William Perry and his Russian counterpart, Gen. Pavel Grachev, met at the Pentagon twice on Thursday but failed to reach agreement.