Moscow rejects Belgrade's call for UN to get out of Kosovo

MOSCOW, Jun 9, 2000 -- (AFP) Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Igor Ivanov on Thursday criticized Yugoslavia's call for the UN mission and the multinational KFOR peacekeeping force to withdraw from Kosovo.

"I do not think that a decision of that nature would help resolve the Kosovo question," Ivanov told journalists.

Ivanov added that he firmly believed that any solution had to be based on UN resolution 1244, which defines the aims of the UN mission in the province.

The Yugoslav government said on Wednesday that the UN Security Council should withdraw its mission to Kosovo (UNMIK), sack its chief Bernard Kouchner, and pull out the multinational KFOR force, accusing the two organizations of siding with ethnic Albanian "terrorists".

Ivanov said that on several occasions Russia had expressed concern about Kouchner's methods, but that this was "no reason to again call into question resolution 1244 and the action of the UN".

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