Friday, January 14, 2005

Transcript from the State Departament announcement that US Gov. is withholding its aid to Serbia

QUESTION: Last night you announced the withholding of some aid from Serbia and Montenegro.

MR. BOUCHER: $10 million, yeah.

QUESTION: And could you be more specific about the reasons behind this? It mentioned Ratko Mladic, who was recently, apparently, credibly spotted in the Republika Srpska. Are you somehow blaming Serbia and Montenegro for that or --

MR. BOUCHER: We, I think, have made clear that there are a variety of people who we think either have the ability or the influence to see that people wanted by the tribunal are brought to justice. That includes, obviously, the authorities in the Republika Srpska and we take steps against them.

We also think the Serbian Government has a responsibility, indeed, has the ability and the influence to ensure that these people are brought to justice. And so that's why we thought it was necessary to withhold the $10 million.

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