CEOL - Russian defense minister postpones visit to YU

BELGRADE, Dec 14, 1999 -- (AFP) Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev has indefinitely postponed a visit to Yugoslavia which had been due to begin Tuesday, Russian embassy sources said.

Sergeyev had been due to hold two days of discussions with top Yugoslav officials, including President Slobodan Milosevic.

He was also to visit Kosovo, which is still officially part of Serbia but has been administered by the United Nations since NATO-led forces in June forced out Serbian troops trying to repress the province's independence-minded ethnic Albanian majority.

Russia, one of Serbia's traditional allies, fiercely opposed the March-June NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

A Russian embassy source told AFP that Sergeyev's visit had been postponed for an unknown period, but gave no reason for the decision.

Sergeyev had notably been expected to discuss military cooperation between Russia and Yugoslavia.

In Kosovo, Sergeyev was expected to visit the Russian contingent serving in the province as a part of the international peacekeeping force (KFOR), deployed after NATO airstrikes forced Serbian forces to quit the province.

He was also supposed to meet the KFOR commander General Klaus Reinhardt.

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