Serbia + 1 more

Montenegrin President warns of civil war...

Milan Djukanovic said in an interview on 20 March that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is trying to "create a civil war from which he can completely distance himself," AP reported. Djukanovic, quoted in the Viennese daily "Der Standard," said Milosevic will "create internal conflicts." Djukanovic stressed the republic's plans to hold a referendum on independence if Belgrade does not embrace democracy and free market reforms. But he said his government is not "going to be overly hasty" in holding the vote because "Milosevic would use our nervousness as an alibi to intensify the crisis." The EU external relations commissioner, Gunnar Wiegand, said on 17 March in Brussels that the EU Commission will ask EU member states for additional financial aid for Montenegro at a foreign ministers' meeting on 20 March. He called the situation in the republic "very serious." PB

NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson said in Budapest on 17 March that the alliance is watching the situation in Montenegro with "growing concern," dpa reported. Robertson, speaking at a two-day meeting of Balkan officials to discuss the Balkan Stability Pact, said he publicly calls on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to "end the economic blockade of Montenegro." That embargo, he said, is "a provocation, which seeks to undermine the authority" of Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic's government. Robertson's predecessor and the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said the EU "will not tolerate the creation of any problem in Montenegro." Solana said his message is directed at Milosevic. The conference was attended by the premiers of Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, and one member of the Bosnian presidency, who all declared in a statement that Montenegro should remain within the Yugoslav federation. PB

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