Russian UN envoy says Serbs suffering in Kosovo

BELGRADE, May 1, 2000 -- (Reuters) Russia's United Nations ambassador said after a visit to Kosovo that Serbs and other non-Albanians there were living under constant threat, state news agency Tanjug reported on Sunday.

Ambassador Sergei Lavrov expressed his concerns at a meeting with Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic after taking part in a three-day visit by a UN Security Council delegation to the volatile province.

Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo live in an atmosphere of constant pressure and their basic human rights and freedoms are being denied, Lavrov was quoted by Tanjug as saying.

Jovanovic slammed the NATO-led peacekeeping force KFOR and the United Nations civilian administration for systematically violating the UN Security Council resolution on Kosovo and Yugoslavian and Serbian sovereignty.

Russia and China were criticized on Saturday by the Canadian envoy in the delegation after their representatives met Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic before visiting Kosovo.

Milosevic, who has been isolated by the west for repressing Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians, met with Lavrov and Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Shen Guofeng on Wednesday.

Russia and China vehemently opposed last year's NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia which forced Belgrade to withdraw its forces from Kosovo.

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