Putin and Clinton discussed options for Milosevic’s departure from the presidency of Yugoslavia

In September 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with the 42nd US leader Bill Clinton the options for removing the then head of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic. This follows from the transcript of the negotiations between Russian and American politicians, published on the Clinton digital library website.

According to the transcript of the conversation, on September 6, 2000, the US President asked Putin to meet with Milo Djukanovic, who was then President of Montenegro (part of Yugoslavia). The latter refused to recognize the changes to the constitution, which would have allowed Milosevic to be re-elected ahead of schedule, and called on the Montenegrins to boycott the presidential and parliamentary elections in Yugoslavia. Clinton feared that Milosevic, because of Djukanovic’s actions, would try to send troops to Montenegro, declare a state of emergency and cancel the country’s elections.

To this, Putin answered him that the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Sergei Ivanov, would meet with Djukanovic.

On September 30, Putin and Clinton had a telephone conversation, during which the US president asked his colleague to force Milosevic to step down from his post. The Russian leader, in turn, doubted that Milosevic would voluntarily leave. He also complained that opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica refused to meet in Belgrade with representatives of Moscow. “He has a 100% chance of winning. Milosevic will have only one chance – falsification of the election results, ”Putin added.

At the same time, the parties discussed what to do with Milosevic after his departure from the presidency of Yugoslavia. In particular, Putin offered to leave him in Serbia or send him to the United States. Clinton, in turn, promised to think about it.

Slobodan Milosevic – President of Serbia as part of Yugoslavia in 1989-1997, and then – from 1997 to 2000 – President of Yugoslavia. In the elections in October 2000, he admitted defeat in the first round after the opposition and protesters tried to seize the buildings of parliament and the state TV and radio company.

The next and last president of Yugoslavia was Vojislav Kostunica.