Ex-U.S. ambassador to UN criticizes U.S. Kosovo policy

WASHINGTON -- John Bolton is higly critical of Washington's approach to Serbia as a whole and Kosovo in particular.

Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the UN, told Voice of America yesterday that he hoped the United States will not recognize a unilateral proclamation of Kosovo independence, but assessed, however, that things seem to be going in that very direction, and voiced fear that this could bring more harm than benefit to the Balkans.

Such a decision, reached under the threat of violence, would actually represent an award for bad behavior, Bolton said.

He added he believed that the two sides should resolve the Kosovo issue at the negotiation table.

"Ever since the disintegration of Yugoslavia, we have been trying to ensure stability in the Balkans, but we have not succeeded in this completely and a number of issues have remained unresolved," Bolton continued.

"However, it seems to me that the last thing we should do is plant a seed of future conflicts yielding to the pressure of this or that side," he assessed.

Bolton said he believed that the State Department had been pushing "an anti-Serb policy for over 15 years now."

"When Yugoslavia was falling apart and when Milošević was pursuing his policy, it was only logical that we opposed such a policy," he pointed out.

"Unfortunately, [our] partial policy continued although there is no logical explanation for it any longer," Bolton concluded.