Russian delegation visits Serbian provincial

May 26 (BBC) - Vojvodina Parliament Speaker Zivorad Smiljanic received on Thursday [25 May] a delegation of the Russian State Duma (lower house) commission for assisting Yugoslavia in alleviating the consequences of last spring's NATO aggression.

A statement released by the information secretariat of that province of the Yugoslav republic of Serbia quotes Smiljanic as thanking the Duma for the support given to Yugoslavia in its resistance to neocolonialism. Smiljanic said the March-to-June 1999 aggression on a small and peace-loving Balkan nation was perpetrated by the world's greatest military power, NATO, which rallies 19 most powerful countries of the world.

He briefed the delegation, headed by Commission Chairman Nikolay Ryzhkov, on post-NATO-war reconstruction, specifying that many infrastructural facilities have been rebuilt and 100,000 homes are being built for young professionals, soldiers and police officers.

Commission Vice Chairman Nikolay Bezborodov, in turn, stressed the Duma has been following with great attention all that has been happening in the former Yugoslavia and believes that since the air strikes were called off the aggression has continued in other ways. In these circumstances, the Duma and the Russian people are seeking ways and means to assist Yugoslavia's reconstruction and stabilize the situation in its Kosovo-Metohija Province in line with UN Resolution 1244, Bezborodov said. On returning to Russia, the Commission's first job will be to recommend to the Duma to work for lifting international anti-Yugoslav sanctions, he added.

In Vojvodina's city of Novi Sad, the delegation visited the rebuilt oil refinery, the new road and railway bridge on the River Danube and TV facilities devastated in the aggression.

Original article