Russia likely to withdraw peacekeepers from Kosovo

MOSCOW, February 25 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia is likely to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from Kosovo in case the situation in this Yugoslav territory does not improve, presidential Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov said on Friday.

"If Russia cannot influence the situation in Kosovo, there is no need to keep troops there," Ivanov told a news conference in the Itar-Tass headquarters.

The aim of the peacekeepers is to secure implementation of the UN Security Council resolution acknowledging Kosovo's political and territorial integrity, Ivanov said. "So far this resolution has not been implemented," he stressed.

According to him, ethnic cleansings are still in progress in Kosovo, Yugoslavia's territorial integrity in violated, and drug trafficking is increasing in the area. Such developments run contrary to Russia's national and traditional interests, Ivanov noted.

"We do not want to be detached observers," he concluded.

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