Russia to send humanitarian aid to Kosovo

March 26th, 2008 - 5:58 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, March 26 (RIA Novosti) Russia is to send humanitarian aid to crisis-hit areas of Kosovo in response to a request by the Serbian government. “There is a very substantial need for humanitarian aid, in particular medicine and food,” Alexander Alekseev, Russian envoy in Belgrade, said Tuesday.

“Goods will be delivered to the whole of Kosovo’s territory, not just to the north of the province,” he said.

“They are primarily interested in medicine, medical equipment, food items with long shelf life and hygiene products,” he said.

The Serbian government had asked Moscow for humanitarian aid to “Serb enclaves” in the northern part of the breakaway province due to the worsening situation over the past two weeks.

The aid package was authorised Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a cabinet meeting.

Tensions have been escalating in Serb regions of the largely ethnic Albanian province since Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia Feb 17.

Rioters clashed with peacekeepers last week in the city of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo, leaving one Ukrainian police officer dead and dozens of civilians and peacekeepers wounded.

Kosovo, with a 90 percent ethnic Albanian majority, has been recognized as a sovereign state by the US, most European Union members, and several other countries.

But Russia has sided with Belgrade, which says Kosovo will always remain a part of its territory.
RIA Novosti

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