Milosevic to NATO: Make My Day

The Serb leader looks set to call the West's bluff over Kosovo.

  • Share
  • Read Later
NATO's war drums may be beating louder by the day, but they're not cowing President Slobodan Milosevic. The Serb leader claims that his offensive in Kosovo is over and on Friday invited Kofi Annan to visit the region, but he doesn't seem ready to make the concessions necessary to stop the air strikes the West is threatening to launch -- perhaps as early as next week. "He still thinks this is all talk," says TIME Central Europe bureau chief Massimo Calabresi. "He believes the current buildup is no different from the warnings in June and in March."

In order to satisfy NATO, Milosevic would have to concede at least some form of autonomy to the region's ethnic Albanian majority -- something he's shown no inclination of doing. "It's not clear that air strikes would force Milosevic to accept a peace deal for the region," says Calabresi, "but they would certainly restore some of the West's lost credibility."