August 9, 1995
From Correspondent Eileen O'Connor
MOSCOW (CNN) -- Serb President Slobodan Milosevic plans to go to Moscow on Thursday, the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said Wednesday, but Croatian President Franjo Tudjman is still resisting Russian President Boris Yeltsin's attempts to set up a meeting between the two.
Yeltsin is calling for the meeting in an effort to end fighting in the Balkans -- and to assert Russia's role in the process.
"We are now negotiating that Milosevic together with Croatian representative Tudjman would come to Moscow to meet me and have their own high-level meeting and have a deal, sign a document that will finally stop military actions there," Yeltsin said.
But Tudjman is hesitating because of Russian statements to the U.N. condemning Croatian military action in Krajina and because the Bosnian leaders were not invited.
In a statement released by his press office Wednesday, Tudjman said he has not rejected the proposed Moscow summit. However, he said such a meeting needs to be carefully prepared and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic also should take part. Tudjman said he's always willing to talk peace with Milosevic as long as there's mutual respect for each other's territory.
A failed meeting could serve as another diplomatic defeat for the West and Russia. "We lost from the beginning when we did not intervene early on," said Sergei Karaganov, deputy director of the Institute of Europe. "When the sign on the wall was if Yugoslavia disintegrates the way it disintegrated, there will be a massive civil and then international war there. We did nothing."
Russians, watching scenes of human devastation played out on their TV screens, see this as a last-ditch effort to avoid the inevitable: a partitioning of Bosnia between the Serbs and Croats.
Meanwhile, other world leaders look for ways to jump start the peace process. President Clinton's National Security Adviser Anthony Lake was flying to Europe Wednesday for meetings with British, German and French officials.
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