Timithy Bancroft-Hinchey: Portugalian newspaper “Publico” about Russia,2000-10-03

Russia wants agreement for the second round in Yugoslav elections President Vladimir Putin offered Russia’s mediation today in the Yugoslav impasse, inviting both candidates, President Slobodan Milosevic and candidate Vojislav Kostunica, to Moscow to discuss parameters for the next round of the elections. Despite pressure from the West to accept Kostunica without a further vote, Russia stands firm in its position to accept the first round. (It should not be forgotten that teams of international advisors were present in Yugoslavia during the elections and did not note any serious irregularities)

Russian Balkan envoy, Vladimir Tchijov, stated that the sides will “agree on a second round of voting which will be recognised by all parties as legitimate”.

President Putin himself, on a visit to India had said “Russia, as a true friend of Yugoslavia, cannot stand still at this moment of responsibility”.

The USA and the EU are of the opinion that President Milosevic should abandon power immediately. French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said that he agreed with President Putin’s initiative to call both candidates for the Yugoslav Presidency to Moscow if it is President Putin’s desire “to tell Milosevic that he should resign and to tell Kostunica that Moscow recognises his victory”. (Notice the absence of terms of respect in the western press, such as “president” or “candidate”).

Madeleine Albright is reported to have said that president Milosevic has already rejected Russia’s proposal of mediation. Indeed, Borislav Milosevic, brother of the Yugoslav President, is quoted to have said that “There are no bases whatsoever for a mediation by Russia”.

Agreement on the “Kursk” Russia and Norway reached agreement on how to recover the bodies from the “Kursk”. The operation will initiate on 10th October and will last one month.This agreement was signed in St. Petersburg by the Institute of Maritime Technology “Rubin”, which designed the Kursk-type submarines, and by the Norwegian branch of the USA company, Halliburton, specialised in deep-sea operations. The financial conditions of the contract were not revealed but will by in agreement with Russia’s possibilities. It is stated that Russia can spend 17.5 million Roubles (622,000 USD). It is reported that Russia had started to negotiate with another Norwegian company, Stolt Offshore, but negotiations failed because “the Russians refused to pay what the Norwegians asked”.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team