Monday, September 6, 1999 Published at 23:25 GMT 00:25 UK
Russia praised over Kosovo shootings
The Russians were alerted by shots fired at the Albanians' car
The Nato Secretary-General, Javier Solana, has praised the actions of Russian peacekeepers who shot dead three Serbs while trying to stop them attacking ethnic-Albanians in Kosovo.
It was the most violent incident involving peacekeeping troops since they arrived in Kosovo three months ago.
A spokesman for the Nato-led force, K-For, said the Russian soldiers went to the village of Korminjane after a gun fight broke out between Serbs and Albanians.
When the Russians ordered the Serbs to stop, the Serbs refused and began firing at the soldiers. The soldiers then fired back at the Serbs, killing three people.
One Albanian also died during the earlier gun battle with Serbs.
Russians 'acted properly'
Nato Secretary-General Javier Solana told reporters in Pristina that the incident, which happened early on Monday in the American sector, proved that the Russian troops behaved according to the obligations of all K-For troops.
The incident was the latest in what a K-For spokesman described as a worrying escalation of ethnically-motivated violence.
Two Albanians died over the weekend in separate attacks, and a Serb was killed by a bomb at his home in Pristina.
But the BBC's correspondent in the region says the shootings in Korminjane could serve to improve the reputation of the Russians among ethnic Albanians.
Russians under suspicion
But Russian Colonel Mihail Kovtunenko commented: "This incident is a good example of how Russian peacekeepers came to Kosovo with a peacekeeping task in mind to normalise the situation in the region.
"We are fighting against criminals, no matter what nationality, Serbs or Albanians."