Serbia’s NATO ambassador leaps to death
2012 12 05

By Slobodan Lekic and Dusan Stojanovic AssociatedPress

Serbia’s ambassador to NATO was chatting and joking with colleagues in a multistory parking garage at Brussels Airport when he suddenly strolled to a barrier, climbed over and flung himself to the ground below, a diplomat said.

By the time his shocked colleagues reached him, Branislav Milinkovic was dead.

His motives are a mystery. Three diplomats who knew Milinkovic said he did not appear distraught in the hours leading up to his death Tuesday night. He seemed to be going about his regular business, they said, picking up an arriving delegation of six Serbian officials who were to hold talks with NATO, the alliance that went to war with his country just 13 years ago.

Belgian authorities confirmed that the ambassador had killed himself.

"It was indeed a suicide," said Ine Van Wymersch of the Brussels prosecutor’s office. She said no further investigation was planned.

A former author and activist opposed to the authoritarian regime of Serbia’s former strongman Slobodan Milosevic, Milinkovic was outgoing, had a warm sense of humor and worked to keep good ties with ambassadors from other ex-Yugoslav countries, according to diplomats and acquaintances.

The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details, said they knew of no circumstances — private or professional — that would have prompted him to take his own life.

But Milinkovic, 52, had mentioned to colleagues at diplomatic functions that he was unhappy about living apart from his wife, a Serbian diplomat based in Vienna, and their 17-year-old son.

One of the diplomats described his death to The Associated Press, saying she had spoken to a member of the delegation who had witnessed the leap from the 8- to 10-meter-high (26- to 33-foot-high) platform.

The diplomats all spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted by foreign service regulations to speak publicly to the press.

The death cast a pall on the second day of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. Officials said they were shocked by the news of the death of a very popular and well-liked man.

NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was "deeply saddened by the tragic death of the Serbian ambassador."

"As Serbian ambassador to NATO he earned the respect and admiration of his fellow ambassadors," he said.

When Yugoslavia was a united country, Milinkovic worked for a prominent Yugoslav foreign policy think-tank. But when Milosevic seized power in Serbia in late 1980s, Milinkovic joined other liberals who opposed the former strongman’s regime and presented a rare voice of moderation during the era when much of Serbia was engulfed in nationalist fervor. He established close ties with international human rights and other groups and remained active in anti-war groups.

After Milosevic was ousted in 2000, Milinkovic was appointed Serbia’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, or OSCE, in Vienna.

He was transferred to NATO as Serbia’s special representative in 2004. Serbia is not a member of the military alliance, but Milinkovic was named ambassador after Belgrade joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, which involves neutral states.

The move to join the NATO program had angered Serbian nationalists who are now in power. They have pledged that Serbia will never join NATO because of the alliance’s 1999 bombing campaign that forced Milosevic’s forces to withdraw from Serbia’s southern province of Kosovo. In 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, which has never accepted that loss.

Milosevic was widely blamed for instigating the ’90s Balkan wars that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia, conflicts that claimed more than 100,000 lives and left millions homeless.

At NATO, Milinkovic worked to foster closer ties with the representatives of all five other nations that gained independence after the bloody 1991 breakup of the former Yugoslav federation into Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia.

Relations were still politically charged when Milinkovic first arrived in Brussels, but they have since improved drastically.

Two months ago, when Croatia’s ambassador to NATO was being transferred to Moscow, Milinkovic organized a dinner for all five of his counterparts and a band played music from all parts of the former Yugoslav federation.

He is survived by his wife and son.


Article from: news.yahoo.com





Related Articles
British nuclear expert dies in 40-metre plunge (2009)
Wife of British diplomat dies in alleged suicide jump from NYC apartment rooftop
Wall Street trader falls to death


Latest News from our Front Page

Secret Project Created Weaponized Ebola In South Africa In The 1980s
2014 10 21
“No records are available to confirm that the biological agents were destroyed.” Operating out of South Africa during the Apartheid era in the early 1980’s, Dr. Wouter Basson launched a secret bioweapons project called Project Coast. The goal of the project was to develop biological and chemical agents that would either kill or sterilize the black population and assassinate political enemies. ...
Controlling the American Mind: The Viral Liturgical Psychodrama
2014 10 20
In order to successfully navigate the raging sea of media shit storm, one must be ever-mindful of the overall designs of mass media without getting lost in endless details and rabbit trails that will be forgotten in a month. Remember Bowe Bergdahl? Remember how media was furiously researching his back story to make details match-up, all of which ended up ...
People are merging with machines
2014 10 20
Ian Burkhart concentrated hard. A thick cable protruded from the crown of his shaven head. A sleeve sprouting wires enveloped his right arm. The 23 - year-old had been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident four years ago. But, in June this year, in a crowded room in the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University, Burkhart’s ...
Illegal Aliens Cleared For U.S. Military Service
2014 10 18
The Pentagon announced a new policy allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to enlist in the armed forces, Thursday. USA Today reports that the new recruitment policies will focus on people with "high-demand skills" like foreign language acumen and health care training: "For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will ...
Bronze Age Sundial-Moondial Discovered in Russia
2014 10 16
A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds. The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, including sunrises and moonrises. The sundial might be "evidence of ...
More News »