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Czech Republic: Arms Embargo On Former Yugoslavia Still In Force

Prague, 6 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - The Czech Republic is maintaining an arms embargo against countries of the former Yugoslavia, despite growing pressure from local arms producers to lift the ban.

The Czech arms manufacturers began lobbying for permission to renew exports to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia after the U.N. Security Council lifted its arms embargo on the region earlier this year.

Spokesman for the Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry, Karel Boruvka, told RFE/RL that despite the end of the UN sanctions, the Czech Republic joined with countries of the European Union which maintain the embargo. Boruvka said more arms in the region will not help solve the problems there.

The Czech arms manufacturers worry they will lose lucrative markets in the Balkans to countries who have already begun exporting weapons there. The United States has started large exports of arms, particularly to Bosnia, in an effort to even out the balance of power in the region.