Even a Kosovo peace deal, though, may not be enough to bring U.S.-Russian relations back on track. "NATO's decision to unilaterally launch military action against the Serbs has deeply alienated Russians all across the political spectrum," says TIME Moscow correspondent Andrew Meier. "Many traditionally pro-Western politicians in Moscow now regard NATO with suspicion and hostility, and the relationship that had been painstakingly built since the '80s has been deeply damaged." Slobodan Milosevic may act locally, but his impact appears to have been global.
There's no quick fix for the damage the Kosovo campaign has wrought on the Washington-Moscow relationship. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, failed during a Tuesday meeting in Oslo to agree on ways to solve the Kosovo crisis, but pledged to keep on talking. NATO wants Moscow to play a mediating role, and to participate in a future Kosovo peacekeeping mission. Ivanov urged NATO to end its bombing campaign and called for an international rather than a "NATO-led" peace force to guarantee the safe return of Kosovar refugees. Elsewhere, Russia's defense minister announced further Russian naval deployments in the Adriatic.