08 August 2006

Shoygu Supports Kostunica's Position Which Is Based on International Law

Solution to Kosovo status must not be imposed or talks time-restricted
Belgrade, Aug 7, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica met today with Russian Minister of Civil Defence, Emergency Situations and Natural Disasters Sergey Shoygu, who told Kostunica that Russia and President Vladimir Putin agree that the solution to Kosovo status must not be imposed or talks time restricted.
Shoygu stressed that when it comes to the issue of the future status of Kosovo-Metohija, Russia agrees with Belgrade's stance that the best solution to the province is essential autonomy within Serbia's existing borders, adding that all arguments stand in Serbia's favour.At the meeting Kostunica said that Serbia highly appreciates the principled stance of both Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.Kostunica said that the Serbian government's policy is based on the essential position that Kosovo has always been a constituent part of Serbia and will remain so. Kostunica stressed that Belgrade advocates compromise and a just solution for Kosovo-Metohija, based on the basic principles of international law and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and that the solution is substantial autonomy for the province.
Sergey Shoygu
He emphasized that any imposed solution would have a serious impact on peace and stability, not just in the Balkans but further afield. He warned that Serbia as a state will reject any imposed solution and would, in that case, declare that Kosovo-Metohija is an integral part of Serbia.The collocutors said that economic and commercial cooperation between Serbia and Russia is improving, and special importance was attached to the memorandum of understanding signed between the Serbian government, “Srbija Gas” and Russian “Gazprom” regarding the construction of a 400 kilometere long gas pipeline through Serbia.Both sides expressed willingness for further improving overall cooperation between the two countries.