In the short term, Milosevic probably doesn't stand to lose much by not taking the West's threat seriously. "The U.N. insists that the decision over whether to use force must be made in the Security Council, which will take things cautiously, one step at a time," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. "The resolution is important because it sends Milosevic a message that the Security Council is not divided on this, that the Russians are back on board." But with such key U.S. allies as France reluctant to authorize any military action without Security Council backing, it may be some time before Milosevic is convinced that the threat of force is credible.
The West is waving the big stick at Serbia again, but it doesn't appear to be scaring President Slobodan Milosevic. Although the U.N. Security Council was expected on Wednesday to pass a resolution demanding a cease-fire in Kosovo, Serb troops continued to launch attacks on rebel-held villages, sending tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians fleeing from the territory.