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    RUSSIA HAILS UNMIK'S INTENTION TO BRING TO JUSTICE THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANTI-SERB VIOLENCE

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    MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Ministry has expressed support for the declared intention of Harry Holkeri, head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), to call to account those responsible for the outbreak of anti-Serb violence in the province this past March.

    Mr. Holkeri expressed his determination to bring to justice those who had orchestrated and executed anti-Serb attacks as he spoke at a UN Security Council session in New York City May 11.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry points out in a press release that Mr. Holkeri's assessment of the implications of anti-Serb violence in Kosovo has a lot in common with Russia's.

    In his speech, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy rightfully criticizes Kosovar Albanian leaders for their belated and equivocal response to the carefully choreographed attempt by local extremists to drive the Serb population out of the province, the Russian Foreign Ministry points out in its press release. This calls into question the return of 200,000 Serb refugees to their homes in Kosovo and, by extension, the creation of a polyethnic community, a principle underlying the UN's Kosovo settlement plan, the ministry says.

    Russia also welcomes Mr. Holkeri's intention to step up UNMIK's cooperation with interim bodies of local self-government so as to provide the soonest possible reconstruction of destroyed housing facilities, churches and cloisters, the Foreign Ministry proceeds.

    "We expect the UNMIK to translate into practice the proposals put forward at the UN Security Council's [May 11] session, as to the consolidation of security guarantees for ethnic minorities, the elimination of extremists' infrastructure, the search for an efficient model of handing authority over to local bodies, and the resumption of direct dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina [the capital of Kosovo]," the ministry says in conclusion.

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