Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Thursday, 23 December, 1999, 13:40 GMT
Russian minister attacks Yugoslav sanctions

Igor Sergeyev Igor Sergeyev salutes Yugoslav soldiers at Belgrade airport


Russia's Defence Minister, Igor Sergeyev, has called for sanctions to be lifted against Belgrade as he prepares for talks with Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic.

Kosovo: Special Report
The Russia Itar-Tass news agency reported that, in a move likely to strengthen existing ties between the two nations, Mr Sergeyev began a two-day visit to the Yugoslav capital by denouncing the trade restrictions.

"It is necessary to pool efforts in order to achieve that sanctions against Yugoslavia are lifted and that urgent aid is rendered to that country without political conditions," he said.

He added that as a result of sanctions "the entire population of the country of innocent people are suffering. An end must be put to this suffering."

Mr Sergeyev's visit is due to focus on discussions about military and technical co-operation permitted under the sanctions, which have also attracted criticism from within the EU.

His trip includes a tour of Russian troops serving with K-For, the United Nations-backed international peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

But it is widely believed the visit has more of a symbolic importance as Russia signals to the west that it will not let the United States dictate its foreign policy.

Bitter opposition

Throughout the recent conflict in Kosovo, Russia was bitterly opposed to the Nato bombing campaign, although it played a key role in securing a Serbian withdrawal.

The visit is particularly significant for President Milosevic who has been internationally isolated since the imposition of the embargo.

Yugoslavia has relied heavily on Russian fuel as its own stocks were largely destroyed by Nato bombs destroyed during the conflict

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Europe Contents

Country profiles

See also:
05 Jul 99 |  Europe
Analysis: A matter of Russian pride?
06 Dec 99 |  Europe
Europe to review Yugoslavia sanctions
04 Nov 99 |  Europe
New policy on Serb sanctions

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories