An elaborate scheme is under way to end Serbia's isolation from the West. First step was the naming of Dobrica Cosic, novelist and prophet of Serbian nationalism, as president of federal Yugoslavia, which now consists of the republics of Serbia and Montenegro. The second was his appointment of Milan Panic, a Los Angeles businessman who once competed in bicycle races for Yugoslavia, as premier of the federal government.
Mr. Panic said before leaving Washington that he would try to end the fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina and to organize national elections. What remains to be seen is the role of the Serbian Republic's powerful president, Slobodan Milosevic, who favored the elevation of his mentor-in-nationalism, Mr. Cosic. According to one scenario, the stage is set for Mr. Milosevic to step down.
Mr. Panic did not take this post until apparently receiving assurances that his dual citizenship is not in jeopardy. Officially, what the State Department agreed was that his travel does not violate U.S. sanctions against Yugoslavia. Officially, the Department has no opinion of this U.S. citizen taking the reins of a government it does not recognize. Mr. Panic arrived in the U.S. in 1956 as a penniless immigrant chemist, and started a firm now known as ICN Pharmaceutical Co., which has annual sales of $500 million and has acquired the leading Yugoslavian drug company for a subsidiary.