BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- With the opposition threatening to paralyze Yugoslavia unless Slobodan Milosevic steps aside, Russia's president offered Saturday to send his foreign minister to mediate the crisis.
The offer came as Milosevic, seeking to shore up his support among the armed forces, addressed graduation exercises Saturday at the Yugoslav military academy and congratulated the newly commissioned officers for serving "at a time of great temptation for our people and state."
He reminded them of the military's duty to defend "our freedom and the independence of our country," which the government claims is at risk because of alleged Western interference in the Yugoslav election.
Tensions have been rising here since the opposition claimed its candidate Vojislav Kostunica won last Sunday's election with 51.34 percent to 36.22 percent for Milosevic, the incumbent president.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.