Yugoslav President Vojislav
Kostunica caused an uproar after claiming that Republika Srpska is
only "temporarily detached" from Serbia.
At a campaign rally, Kostunica said Srpska was "part of our family
we hold very dear, very close to us and only temporarily detached
from us but always ours and always in our heart," according to media
"We consider this to be the worst form of cheap and irresponsible
electioneering," a spokesman for Bosnia's high representative told AP.
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and the Fund for
Humanitarian Law also criticized the statement sas "a throwback to the
Milosevic era." And Bosnian officials said the comment proved Serb
nationalists are still clinging to their dream of creating a
Greater Serbia -- a goal that led to ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and
the deaths of several hundred thousand people.
Kostunica complained his statement was "wrongfully and maliciously
misinterpreted" by Bosnian officials. And Bosnian Serb Republic Prime
Minister Mladen Ivanic said Kostunica "has no reason to apologize,"
according to SRNA, a Serb news agency.
MORE ON THE WEB: Serbia: Kostunica Remarks Frighten Bosnia
By Milanka Saponja-Hadzic in Belgrade, Institute of War and Peace