Montenegro Struggles to Open Separate EU Talks

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | May 6, 2006, Saturday // 00:00

Montenegrin authorities have voiced confidence it will not become a victim of Serbia's failure to arrest war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic.

Local politicians are predicting a vote for independence from Serbia in a 21 May referendum and continued talks with the EU.

On Wednesday the EU halted talks on closer ties with Serbia over its failure to apprehend Mladic.

Both republics have separate SAA negotiating teams, but legally they fall under the same umbrella under Brussels' so-called "twin-track" method.

The international war crimes tribunal in The Hague has charged Mladic with genocide in connection with the wartime massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in 1995.

The chief prosecutor at the tribunal, Carla del Ponte, has said that the Serbian authorities had located him two weeks ago, but let him slip away again.a

Montenegrin politicians blamed Belgrade for holding Podgorica "hostage" in EU negotiations. Montengro's President Filip Vujanovic even told Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza: "I hope this will end on 21 May".

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