Putin 'problems' with Milosevic, but wants sanctions lifted

ROME, Jun 7, 2000 -- (AFP) The West is not alone in having problems with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday, but urged the lifting of sanctions imposed on Belgrade.

"We, too, have problems with Milosevic, but we should not forget that he was elected by the people, and that there is therefore a psychological problem," the ANSA news agency cited him as saying at a meeting with media leaders in Rome.

Putin, who arrived in Milan Tuesday afternoon for talks with business and local leaders, said a lifting of sanctions and an end to Yugoslavia's international isolation would stabilize the Balkans region.

The international community has imposed sanctions on the rump Yugoslavia for its crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has also indicted Milosevic for war crimes stemming from the Serb ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo last year.

Western aid to Serbia, which along with the more western-oriented Montenegro makes up Yugoslavia, has been suspended as long as Milosevic is in power, but humanitarian assistance is allowed.

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