Hope on the Balkans Kosov@ Crisis 1999
Confusion over Russian troops still not solved
On Saturday, Russian troops took control over the Pristina airport. On Sunday morning, after Russians denied access to the French and British soldiers who tried to approach the airport, NATO troops had to search for another base site in Pristina, Kosovo's provincial capital. NATO planned to set up it's headquarters at the Pristina airport. Diplomatic efforts took place after confusion caused by sudden deployment of Russian troops. Russian and US officials held talks on Sunday, trying to work out a mutually acceptable deal on Russia's role in a Kosovo peace force. Key sticking point has been a question whether Russia would get it's own sector of control in Kosovo. US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov didn't reach a breakthrough, but both US and Russian side expressed optimism. Official statement from Kremlin said that Russian President Boris Yeltsin "approved the results" of Sunday talks. Yeltsin had a telephone conversation on Sunday with U.S. President Bill Clinton. Two leaders agreed that intensive talks were needed to find a quick agreement on a Kosovo peace force. That also include talks between military official. Kremlin statement added that two leaders would probably speak again by telephone on Monday. Russians expressed their concerns about NATO troops not disarming KLA guerrillas. Russian Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed senior Russian Defence Ministry official who said that this could create explosive situation and threaten the lives of Russian servicemen in Pristina. On Saturday, KLA leader Hashim Thaci said KLA can't guarantee safety to Russian soldiers.
Source: Free Serbia
Back to Archive | Back to Kosov@ Crisis 1999