Security Council Extends Easing of Yugoslavia Sanctions
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ The Security Council voted on Wednesday to extend its easing of sanctions against Yugoslavia and urged the Balkan state to recognize Bosnia.
The vote was 14 to 0. Russia abstained.
The resolution suspends a U.N. ban on travel, sports and cultural contacts with Yugoslavia for another 75 days.
It calls for mutual recognition among Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Croatia and says that recognition between Yugoslavia and Bosnia would be ``an important first step.″
The council first eased its sanctions in September after Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic announced he was closing his border with Bosnia to all but humanitarian aid deliveries to pressure the Bosnian Serbs into accepting an international peace plan.
Gerhard Henze, the acting German ambassador, said reports of 688 incidents of border crossings by soldiers were ``disturbing″ and added that the resolution, which provides for only a temporary suspension of the ban, ``sends a clear signal to the authorities in Belgrade not to engage in military assistance.″
Henze also said the council should be ``ready to consider further substantial sanctions relief measures″ if Yugoslavia recognizes Croatia and Bosnia and strengthens its border closure.
Russia, which backed an indefinite extension of the sanctions, abstained from the vote.
U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright said Washington was ``disturbed by indications of increasing military cooperation″ between Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serbs, including reports that Yugoslav authorities provided financial assistance and equipment to the Bosnian Serb army and cooperated with the Bosnian Serb air defense system.
The United Nations imposed the sanctions in 1992 to punish Serbia for its role in fomenting the breakup of the Yugoslav federation. The sanctions have devastated the Serbian economy.