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    STATE DUMA TO DISCUSS DRAFT RESOLUTION ON SITUATION IN KOSOVO

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    MOSCOW, March 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The State Duma decided at its Friday session to put on the agenda the adoption of the draft resolution on the situation in Kosovo. Some deputies expressed concern over ethnic unrest in the province during which Serbs were killed.

    Deputy Dmitry Rogozin believes the Duma should draft an appeal to the Russian government, suggesting that it take a decision on the evacuation of ethnic Serbs to Russia and granting them political protection.

    But Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Duma international affairs committee, discarded the idea as absurd. "The evacuation of about 40,000 Serbs to Russia without their request would amount to deportation," he said. In his opinion, Russia can take such a decision only upon the request of the Serbian leadership, which has not been made so far.

    Meanwhile, Foreign Minister of Serbia and Montenegro called on the UN Security Council at its session to increase the presence of the peacekeeping forces and NATO troops in Kosovo.

    According to Mr. Kosachev, Duma deputies can only discuss and coordinate an acceptable version of the draft resolution on Kosovo.

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