March 29, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Clinton administration officials reacted skeptically Monday to a Russian diplomatic bid to end NATO attacks on Yugoslavia, saying the initiative is welcome but they expect little to come of it.
President Boris Yeltsin ordered several key aides, including Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev to fly to Belgrade on Tuesday for talks with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on finding a political end to the crisis.
U.S. officials told CNN that, while they wish the Russian delegation good luck, the United States is not interested in any new negotiating forum. The only measure of success, administration officials said, would be for Milosevic to accept a peace plan for the province of Kosovo that he previously rejected.
"If Mr. Primakov can make President Milosevic realize what he has to do, then it will be a good thing. But the bombing continues," a senior administration official told CNN.
NATO airstrikes began last week after Milosevic refused to call off attacks against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo who signed the U.S.-brokered peace deal.
President Clinton, who went to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on Sunday, returned to the White House late Monday morning but said nothing to waiting reporters as he stepped off a helicopter. He is expected to continue consultations with his top national security advisers.
There are no plans for the president to make any public statements on Monday.
KLA leader: Serbs executing, rounding up civilians
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