Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Serbia pushes Russia aside despite long-standing friendship, turns to EU

From Pravda

11/16/2005 15:47
Serbia believes that it is the European Union, which is to play the leading role in the regulation of the Balkan conflict

President of Serbia Boris Tadic arrived in Moscow with an official visit. The Serbian leader discussed a wide range of questions with Vladimir Putin: from the regulation of the Soviet debt to the former Yugoslavia to bilateral relations between Russia and Serbia in case the latter joins the European Union. The key subject of the talks between the Serbian and the Russian president was devoted to the situation in Kosovo and Russia's role in the regulation of Balkan conflicts.

Serbia criticized Russia during and after the NATO-led bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 claiming that Russia had taken an indistinct and inactive position. "Russia's role in the regulation of the conflict is immense. Russia is supposed to identify its position clearly, in the UN Security Council, first and foremost," Boris Tadic said at the press conference after the end of the official meeting in the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin strongly excluded the use of double standards policy pertaining to the expulsion of 200,000 Serbs from Kosovo. "About 200,000 Serbs have to leave Kosovo now, but everyone keeps silence about it," the president of Russia said. Putin stressed out that Western officials referred to the exodus of 30,000 Albanians from Kosovo as a humanitarian catastrophe. Putin assured his Serbian colleague that Russia shared his opinion about Kosovo being the inseparable part of Serbia, even if it enjoys the status of an autonomy.

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