[KDN] Reuters Russia says concerned about Belgrade clashes
- Russia says concerned about Belgrade clashes
08:11 a.m. Sep 30, 1999 Eastern
MOSCOW, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry
expressed concern on Thursday about overnight
clashes between police and demonstrators in the Yugoslav
But Russia, which has traditionally good ties with
fellow Slav, Orthodox Christian Serbia, also stressed that
relations between different political forces in Yugoslavia
were strictly ``an internal matter.''
``We express regret and concern over the clashes,''
Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin told a
``Political differences between the authorities and the
opposition in the Yugoslav Federation can and must be
resolved within the framework of the constitution, through a
constructive dialogue,'' he said.
``But naturally we regard the relations between the political
forces as an internal matter for Yugoslavia,'' he added.
On Wednesday evening riot police backed by armour and
water cannon forcibly dispersed up to 30,000 people
who had gathered to demand the resignation of President
Slobodan Milosevic. Several demonstrators were reported
The Serb opposition has vowed to continue their campaign of
protests until Milosevic agrees to stand down.
Russia strongly opposed NATO's bombing campaign
against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo crisis earlier this year
and used its good contacts with Milosevic to help broker a
Russian troops have joined an international peacekeeping
force in Kosovo but Moscow has also criticised the Western
powers for not doing more to protect minority Serbs in the
province, where they face a backlash from ethnic Albanians.
On Thursday Rakhmanin reiterated Moscow's concern
about the plight of Kosovo's Serbs and urged a full
investigation into a grenade attack on a Serb market on
Tuesday which killed two people and injured more than
``We appeal to all inhabitants of Kosovo to show good sense
and restraint and not to allow new bloodshed in the
province,'' the ministry said in a statement.