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Saturday, June 19, 1999 Published at 03:13 GMT 04:13 UK

World: Europe

Russians in Kosovo: How it will work

Russians will work alongside K-For troops

By Washington Correspondent Paul Reynolds

There will be a maximum of 3,600 Russian soldiers out of a total force of more than 50,000 K-For troops.

Kosovo: Special Report
They will be stationed within three national sectors, and in the British sector at the Pristina airport, though Nato will control the air traffic.

One or two Russian battalions will be allocated to named locations within each of the American and German sectors, and one battalion in the French.

They will be under the Nato sector commanders, who in turn answer to the K-For Commander, General Jackson, so unity of command is maintained.

However, the Russians, like other national units, have the right to refuse to carry out specific tasks.

Russian liaison officers will be sent to the Supreme Allied Headquarters, to the regional command in Naples and to K-For.

Crucial concession

The Russians will also stay at Pristina airport, in the British sector, with specific tasks including security.

But the crucial job of controlling air traffic goes to Nato.

The Russians therefore have not got the clear sector control they sought, nor the numbers, but by moving quickly to the airport they created facts on the ground and have achieved a presence.

An American official summed up the Nato view - no Russian sector and no partition.

American officials hope that the agreement will ease relations with Moscow and will help prevent an exodus of Serbs from Kosovo.

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