WASHINGTON — Implementing a recent U.N. Security Council resolution, President Clinton on Thursday ordered the suspension of economic sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, the two states that remain in the rump Yugoslavia.
Clinton made it clear that the suspension was a reward for Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's role in the Dayton, Ohio, negotiations that led to an agreement ending the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. "The likelihood of sanctions relief," the president said, "was one of the key factors contributing to . . . Milosevic's agreement at the talks."
But Clinton also said the sanctions will be reimposed if Milosevic reneges on the accords. "Before agreeing to sanctions suspension [by the Security Council]," Clinton said, "we insisted on a credible reimposition mechanism to ensure no backsliding on the commitments made by the Serbs."
Under the Security Council resolution, the suspended sanctions could be reimposed if U.S. Adm. Leighton W. Smith, the NATO commander, or High Representative Carl Bildt cites the Serbs for violating the accords.
The sanctions crippled the economy of the rump Yugoslavia and, in the view of U.S. analysts, finally pressured Milosevic to seek a peace agreement.
The sanctions prohibited almost all trade, banned flights to and from Serbia and Montenegro by outside airlines and froze international bank accounts.
Clinton also signed an order implementing a second U.N. Security Council resolution that lifts the embargo on the sale of light arms to all the republics of the former Yugoslav federation by early March.