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    RUSSIANS BELIEVE INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPERS UNABLE TO SETTLE KOSOVO CRISIS

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    MOSCOW, April 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolay Zherebtsov) - About half of the Russian population (43%) believe the international peacekeepers deployed in Serbian Kosovo are unable to settle the conflict between Serbs and Albanians, which has claimed dozens of lives. Violent ethnic clashes broke out again in mid March. Hundreds of Serbs have become refuges.

    However, 30 percent of the Russians believe the peacekeepers will deal with their task successfully, the data received during the all-Russian opinion poll released by independent sociologic fund 'Obshestvennoye Mnenie' (Public Opinion) say.

    The opinion poll showed that half of the pollees (51%) are against Russia's active involvement in settlement of the Kosovo conflict. Thirty-four percent of pollees are for it; most often these are people with higher education (43%) and males (41%).

    Eleven percent of the pollees believe Russia must promote peaceful settlement of the conflict ("organize and conduct negotiations, render diplomatic assistance, take political actions in the Council of Europe, make certain agreements with the international community").

    Seven percent of the pollees believe Russia must provide the refugees with humanitarian aid.

    Six percent of the pollees believe it is necessary to render military assistance to Serbs: make weapons, armament deliveries or even deploy Russian troops there, however, peacekeeping ones.

    Four percent of the pollees stand for "spiritual assistance": "Russians should take the Serb's part, give advice or help them in some way." 1500 grown-ups from 100 locations in 44 Russia's regions, territories and republics took part in the opinion poll held on March 27. The opinion poll was an interview in the place of their residence. Statistical inaccuracy is no more than 3.6 percent.

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