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NATO Rejects Bosnian Serb Threats

Brussels/Moscow, July 17 (RFE/RL) -- NATO's top leadership says it will be neither intimidated nor deterred by threats from Bosnian Serbs to retaliate against any attempt by the NATO-led peace force to arrest war criminals.

NATO Secretary General Javier Solana told reporters in Brussels today IFOR will not tolerate attacks on its personnel or interference with the performance of their duties.

Bosnian Serbs recently warned they would retaliate against any attempt by the peace force to arrest Bosnian Serb leader and indicted war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic.

In Moscow today, Russia's Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov said forcibly detaining Karadzic and extradicting him to the international war crimes tribunal in the Hague could wreck the September 14 elections in Bosnia.

Primakov told reporters the solution Russia backs is that Karadzic leaves the post of president of the self-styled Bosnian Serb Republic.

Karadzic has delegated his presidential powers to Vice President Biljana Plavcic but he continues to retain the title and has had himself reappointed head of the ruling Bosnian Serb political party.