Security in Kosovo deteriorating

UNITED NATIONS, November 23 (Itar-Tass) - Despite the presence of the Kosovo international security force, KFOR, and the United Nations mission for the interim administration, the situation with security in the Kosovo Serb territory continues deteriorating. Sergei Lavrov, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, who recently visited Yugoslavia, said this on Monday at a news conference in the club of the Association of journalists accredited at the United Nations headquarters.

It can be said that Albanians continue an organised campaign to drive non-Albanian population out of Kosovo, which is shown by setting on fire houses and churches, he said. While Albanians were persecuted in the Kosovo in the past, the situation is now the opposite with the only deference that the KFOR and the United Nations mission are now present in the territory. The KFOR and the United Nations mission should do more than they have been doing so far and should take extra efforts to fulfil the requirements of the Security Council's resolution 1244, Lavrov said. It is necessary to ensure an early return to Kosovo, as envisaged by the resolution, of units of the Yugoslav army and the Serb police, so that it would be possible duly to control the border and maintain joint patrolling. United Nations police should be deployed in the territory within a brief period of time.

Russia's ambassador at the United Nations said the world community is obliged to build multi-ethnic society in Kosovo, and this should be done exclusively by a political dialogue. Debates on the future political status of the territory should not be put off.

Asked about the view the Russian side takes of the activity of the United Nations mission for the interim administration, specifically, the activity of its head Bernard Kouchner, lavrov said: "We are concerned with the actions of the mission that lead toward separation of the Kosovo territory from Yugoslavia". There is no doubt Yugoslav laws should apply to the territory as this is clearly stipulated in resolution 1244. At the same time, we would like the leadership of the mission not to be acting in a vacuum in decision-making and issuing of orders and decrees. We want it frequently to consult law experts at the United Nations headquarters, in the United Nations Security Council and in other plenipotentiary bodies, Lavrov said.

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