“The arrest of Ratko Mladic hopefully marks a new beginning in Serbian relations with its neighbors,” said Ahtisaari in a statement released on his Crisis Management Initiative organisation’s website. “I do hope that we can now witness a new attitude toward the independent state of Kosovo.”
Ahtisaari, who won the Nobel Peace prize in 2008, had a significant role in Kosovo’s declaration of independence in the same year. Russia and several other European countries – including Serbia – have not yet recognized Kosovo’s independence.
Finland's Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb also welcomed the arrest.
"We are witnessing a historic milestone for the western Balkans and for Serbia," said Stubb.