Russia sends aid for Kosovo Serbs

Shipment included 40 tonnes of canned food, baby food, rice and sugar.

    Russia's foreign minister has pledged that Moscow will not allow Kosovo to join the United Nations [AFP]

    Canned food
    Russia's aid was shipped in an Ilyushin-76 cargo plane and included 40 tonnes of canned food, baby food, rice and sugar.


    Samardzic said three more shipments including more food and medical aid were expected by April 10.

    "This is important help for the survival of Serbs in Kosovo," he said.

    No details have been given about how the aid will be distributed among the 100,000 or so Serbs living in Kosovo.

    Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, ordered the aid at Serbia's request.

    He said the aid should be distributed regardless of ethnicity and "without political colouring".

    However, Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders have said that Moscow should coordinate shipments with Pristina, Kosovo's capital, rather than Belgrade.


    Kosovo's February 17 declaration of independence was quickly recognised by the United States and its key European allies.

    But Serbia and Russia have rejected Kosovo's statehood as illegal under international law.

    Belgrade has sought in past weeks to retain control over Serb-held areas in Kosovo, a move that could lead to a de facto division of the territory.

    Clashes last month between Serbs, UN police and Nato peacekeepers in Kosovo left a Ukrainian policeman dead and dozens of people on both sides injured.

    Serbs also say a new European Union administrative mission is illegal.

    Lavrov said Russia was working to prolong the UN mission established in Kosovo in 1999, after a Nato air war ended a Serb crackdown against Kosovo separatists.

    Speaking to the Duma, Russia's parliament, he said: "We are taking concrete measures to prevent the use of force to compel the Kosovo Serbs to accept Kosovo's independence.

    "Making Serbs submit to recognizing the legitimacy of the European Union mission is illegitimate.

    I am concerned that the developing situation in Kosovo is not over."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?