WASHINGTON — President Clinton, responding to positive developments in Yugoslavia, notified congressional leaders Friday that he was lifting trade and financial sanctions against the Balkan nation.
The easing of sanctions does not apply to former President Slobodan Milosevic, his family, his cronies or indicted war crimes suspects. All told, 81 people will remain under sanctions restrictions.
Acting on his last full day in office, Clinton said he was responding to the peaceful democratic transition that has begun under President Vojislav Kostunica, who assumed his duties last fall after Milosevic was driven from the presidency during a popular revolt.
Shortly after Kostunica took power, Clinton lifted an air and oil embargo against Yugoslavia and instructed U.S. agencies to dismantle trade and economic sanctions. Friday's action fulfilled that direction.
Clinton said the transition "opens the prospect of Yugoslavia rejoining fully the international community."
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the 81 Yugoslavs who are still under sanctions will be barred from obtaining U.S. visas, making transactions with U.S. banks or carrying out trade with American entities.