12 July 2007

Russia expresses concern over Kosovo bombing


MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Ministry expressed its concern Wednesday over a bomb attack that damaged three UN vehicles in Kosovo.

The bomb attack was carried out February 19 in the center of the capital Pristina, near the UN mission, but caused no injuries.

"Moscow is concerned over this terrorist act. We see it as proof of the continued policy by radical forces to escalate tensions in Kosovo and to disrupt the political process of determining its status," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said.

According to Kamynin, the terrorist act was not accidental and was committed on the eve of new negotiations on Kosovo's status, due to open in Vienna Wednesday.

Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo province, which has a population of two million, has been a UN protectorate since NATO's 78-day bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia ended a war between Serb forces and Albanian separatists in 1999. Kosovo is seeking to gain its independence from Serbia.

"We expect the most decisive actions from the province's provisional authorities and international missions, in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, to investigate the incident and cut short extremist activity," Kamynin said.

The Kosovo Liberation Army, the now disbanded group that fought for independence against Serbs during the 1998-1999 conflict, claimed responsibility for the bombing.