Serbs Unmoved

NATO is concerned over slow progress on Kosovo deal, but the West is unlikely to force the issue.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Serbia may be dragging its feet over withdrawing from Kosovo, but NATO will let President Milosevic off the hook despite issuing stern warnings on Thursday. "Holbrooke's agreement has been designed to allow everyone to save face," says TIME Central Europe bureau chief Massimo Calabresi. Milosevic is proclaiming himself the hero -- and silencing Serbs who disagree -- while NATO is able to recover some of its diminished prestige in the region: "NATO has managed to make it look as if they backed Milosevic down without actually having to bomb, which nobody really wanted to do," says Calabresi.

Even if Milosevic fulfills his promise of greater autonomy for the region, the deal could also be wrecked by the Kosovo Liberation Army, which demands full independence. "The KLA have been clobbered, but their members are still out there and still armed," says Calabresi. "They don't even have to wait for spring to go out and pop a couple of policemen, and it's actions of that type that prompted Milosevic's brutal crackdown in the first place."