ACCUSING the West of killing Serbian children with its edicts, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic yesterday demanded the immediate suspension of United Nations sanctions in exchange for peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The comments came as the European Community launched a new bid to ease UN trade sanctions if Serbia can persuade Bosnian Serbs to relinquish another 3 to 4 percent of their territorial gains.
UN sanctions have devastated Serbia's economy since they were imposed in 1991 for fomenting war in the former Yugoslavia.
The EC wants all sides to stop interfering with aid deliveries. UN officials yesterday said that Serbs have increasingly been using cluster bombs against Bosnia and are hindering the delivery of aid. The EC also says Serbs must allow the airport in the eastern Bosnian town of Tuzla to reopen. Tuzla is seen as key to the distribution of aid.
The meeting was attended by the 12 EC foreign ministers, the presidents of Serbia and Croatia, envoys from the United States and Russia, and leaders of the three warring sides in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has ruled out any further territorial concessions to the Muslims. But he has said he is ready to exchange land near the Bosnian capital Sarajevo for three eastern Bosnian enclaves held by the Bosnian government. The government rejects that.
The EC proposal includes a vague threat to use military force against renegade troops that violate a Nov. 18 agreement to provide safe passage to UN aid convoys.