All Russian peacekeepers to be withdrawn from Balkans by August 1

All Russian peacekeepers will be withdrawn from the Balkans by August 1, 2003, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov told journalists in Brussels.

"The last Russian peacekeepers will be withdrawn from Bosnia and Herzegovina in several days," the minister said, "thus de facto terminating the withdrawal of our peacemaking contingent from that country." According to Ivanov, "the withdrawal schedule of Russian peacekeepers from Kosovo is tough". The minister believes the Russian soldiers will be able to keep to the schedule and thus the withdrawal will be completed by August 1, 2003.

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