Global Policy Forum

Clinton Suspends Sanctions

Associated Press

Washington - Acting to cement peace in the Balkans, President Clinton has suspended U.S. sanctions imposed three years ago against Serbia and Montenegro. The president said Thursday the economic and military sanctions had achieved their purpose of bringing the Serbs to the negotiating table to forge a peace agreement. But Clinton warned that they could be reimposed at anytime if the Serbs repudiate the agreement Serbia reached in Dayton, Ohio, in November.

"Before agreeing to sanctions suspension, we insisted on a credible reimposition mechanism to ensure no backsliding on the commitments made by the Serbs," the president said in a statement. Clinton said that if the NATO commander in Bosnia determines the Bosnian Serbs are not meeting their obligations under the peace agreement, "economic sanctions may again go into effect against Serbia."

Clinton said the likelihood that sanctions would be lifted was one of the key factors leading Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's agreement to make concessions at Dayton and sign a peace accord in Paris on Dec. 14. "Sanctions relief was clearly anticipated as a consequence of the accord," Clinton said.

The economic sanctions promoted by the Clinton administration are credited with curtailing delivery of manufactured goods, gasoline and other imports to the two remnants of the former Yugoslavia. Allied warships blockaded Serbia and Montenegro in the Adriatic Sea to enforce a United Nations embargo. The United States observed an arms embargo on all sides of the Bosnian conflict imposed by the U.N. Security Council in Nov. 1991. Clinton noted that Security Council voted on Nov. 22, to provide sanctions relief.

More Information on Sanctions in the Case of Former Yugoslavia


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