Washington, 12 September 2000 (RFE/RL) -- The EU's External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten met yesterday in Washington with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger to discuss Serbia's relationship with Montenegro's reformist government. Reports say they discussed fears that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic could use force against Montenegro and how the West would respond if he did.
The concerns are mounting ahead of federal and presidential elections in Yugoslavia on September 24. Montenegro's leadership is boycotting the elections, which they say will not be fair.
Reports say the U.S. and some of its fellow NATO members fear Milosevic might try to remove the leadership of Montenegro to cling to power and avoid extradition to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
Montenegro and Serbia comprise the Yugoslav Federation.