TIME.com's Tony Karon talked to TIME correspondent Dejan Anastasijevic the attempted arrest of Slobodan Milosevic on Friday.
TIME.com: Could last night's failed attempt to arrest Slobodan Milosevic spark a wider crisis?
Dejan Anastasijevic: It can't be ruled out. The standoff is not the result of ardent support for Milosevic from hard-line supporters in the general population or some armed movement. It's the result of divisions with in the ruling coalition the well-known rivalry between President Kostunica, who controls the military, and Serbia's prime minister Goran Djindjic, who controls the police. Djindjic today didn't directly accuse Kostunica, but he did say that certain elements of the army, which is under Kostunica's control, had obstructed the arrests and aided the armed people now guarding Milosevic.
What are the charges against Milosevic?
Two counts of misuse of office and conspiracy, over the embezzlement of a large sum of money from state funds. He and a number of aides are accused of diverting money from the state budget to their own party over a long period. Many of the aides are already in custody.
Does this mean Milosevic won't be sent to the war crimes tribunal at The Hague?
That's not likely immediately. Right now, he's more likely to have been arrested on some corruption-related charge, and he'll spend quite a long time in the Yugoslav justice system. But at some point he'll probably be sent to The Hague.
What impact will the arrest have on life in Serbia?
It's going to improve Serbia's chances of getting Western aid. The West is more concerned with having Milosevic arrested right now than with the question of having him immediately sent to The Hague. Otherwise, there's not likely to be any turmoil. Frankly, this could have happened a lot earlier. The authorities have overstated the danger of a public backlash in Serbia. It's more likely that having spent all this time in the political system, the politicians feared some magical power of Milosevic as if they'd be struck by lightning if they moved against him. But he has long ago lost his grip on Serbia. Politically, he's been dead since last October. And everyone knew this was coming sometime. Everyone in this country, even his own supporters, were getting tired of the suspense. For a lot of people this will come as a relief.
Where do things stand now?
The standoff could continue for a while. There are rumors of negotiations, but nobody knows between whom. There are two possible outcomes either Milosevic is arrested in the next 48 hours, or we will have a crisis that will not really involve Milosevic as a player, but instead as the cause of a confrontation between Kostunica's federal authority and Djindjic's Serb authority.