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    VISOKIJE DECIANI, KOSOVO, JANUARY 7, 2004, /RIA-NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT OLGA LIPICH/ -- It will still take a lot of time to completely settle the Kosovo situation, Harri Holkeri, chief of the UN mission in Kosovo, told RIA-NOVOSTI here today. Holkeri met a delegation from Russia's St. Andrew foundation, which is touring Kosovo.

    We must change the local population's aggressive moods; however, it will take a lot of time to accomplish this objective, Holkeri stressed.

    At the same time, he believes that peace-keepers' efforts have considerably improved the local situation on the 1999 period, that is, when the KFOR was deployed. Holkeri is sure that everything is going to be all right.

    The UN mission estimates that 17,000 NATO peace-keepers, about 4,500 policemen from different countries, as well as about 1,000 commandos, now serve in Kosovo. Incidentally, 45,000 NATO peace-keepers were stationed in Kosovo four years ago. UN officials in Kosovo believe that a reduction in their numbers highlights an improved regional situation. Among other things, this is apparently proved by declining local crime rates.

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