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    MOSCOW CONDEMNS OUSTING NON-ALBANIANS FROM KOSOVO

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    MOSCOW, March 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Moscow believes that the recent declaration by the United Nations Security Council condemning ethnic violence in Kosovo is a crucial signal for all of the conflicting parties, especially the Albanians in Kosovo, the press and information department of the Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti on Friday.

    "The absence of equal conditions of safety for all of the residents and the non-observance of the rights and freedoms of the Serbian minority threaten the prospects of implementing the "Standards for Kosovo" declaration which was approved by the international community," a statement from the department says.

    On March 18, an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council was held to discuss the ethnic clashes in Kosovo. A declaration was adopted at the session, which condemns the ethnic violence in Kosovo and the attacks on the UN mission and KFOR servicemen.

    The Security Council demanded that the provisional authorities in Kosovo take efficient steps to guarantee law and order, ensure the safety of every ethnic community and hold those responsible for criminal actions responsible. It has also noted the need for international forces to take additional measures to stabilize the situation.

    At this session, the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on the Albanian community in Kosovo to respect and protect the rights of minorities.

    Gennady Gatilov, the acting permanent representative of the Russian Federation at the United Nations, noted that the scope of violence in Kosovo, especially by the Albanian community, against ethnic minorities and international organizations makes talks of removing the non-Albanian population from Kosovo relevant. Mr. Gatilov said that the Serbs fear that the KFOR will not be able to prevent the situation from getting worse.

    "In case resolute measures to put things in order are not taken urgently, a real danger may arise of undermining the peace process, which the international community has gone a long way to arrange".

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