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Yugoslavia: EU Will Fund Efforts To Undermine Milosevic

Brussels/Pristina, 23 June 1999 (RFE/RL) - As ministers from four European countries toured Kosovo today, the European Union (EU) said it will fund pro-democracy projects in Serbia to undermine the rule of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The UE's commissioner for Eastern Europe, Hans van den Broek, announced in Brussels that the EU has set aside between 500 million and 700 million euros ($515 million to $720 million) to repair war damage, but not to rebuild Yugoslavia as long as Milosevic remains in power. He said the EU will subsidize projects for fostering a free press and democracy in Serbia and in Montenegro.

The pledge comes as foreign and defense ministers from Britain, France, Germany and Italy are touring Kosovo, where they all have troops serving with the NATO-led peace force called KFOR. (The fifth sector in Kosovo is patrolled by the U.S.)

British Foreign secretary Robin Cook said that he and his counterparts want to impress on divided ethnic Albanian leaders in Kosovo the need to unite.

Cook said he was distressed at what he called the appalling sights he has seen in Kosovo. He made the comments at a farm near Velika Krusa in southwestern Kosovo where forensic experts are examining remains of what are believed to be ethnic Albanian massacre victims.

The deputy prosecutor for the Hague war crimes tribunal, Graham Blewitt, also said today that war crimes investigators have uncovered in Kosovo the evidence of numerous atrocities allegedly committed by Serb security forces.

A senior KFOR delegation held separate talks with the Yugoslav army and the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) to discuss steps taken by them to fulfill the Kosovo peace agreement.

On a related matter, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it is investigating reports that between 2,000 and 3,000 ethnic Albanians were taken from Kosovo to Serbia by Serb security forces when they retreated. The Red Cross said it is seeking access to Kosovars being held as political prisoners in Yugoslav jails.